How can one European capital be responsible for most of the West’s intellectual and cultural achievements in the twentieth century?
Viennese ideas saturate the modern world. From California architecture to Hollywood Westerns, modern advertising to shopping malls, orgasms to gender confirmation surgery, nuclear fission to fitted kitchens—every aspect of our history, science, and culture is in some way shaped by Vienna.
The city of Freud, Wittgenstein, Mahler, and Klimt was the melting pot at the heart of a vast metropolitan empire. But with the Second World War and the rise of fascism, the dazzling coteries of thinkers who squabbled, debated, and called Vienna home dispersed across the world, where their ideas continued to have profound impact.
Richard Cockett gives us the entirety of this extraordinary story. Tracing Vienna’s rich intellectual history from psychoanalysis to Reaganomics, Cockett encompasses everything from the communist rebels of Red Vienna to the neoliberal economists of the Austrian School. This is the panoramic account of how one city made the modern world—and how we all remain inescapably Viennese.