Skip to main content

From Vienna to Chicago and Back

Essays on Intellectual History and Political Thought in Europe and America

With Forewords by Bernard Bailyn and John Boyer

Spanning both the history of the modern West and his own five-decade journey as a historian, Gerald Stourzh’s sweeping new essay collection covers the same breadth of topics that has characterized his career—from Benjamin Franklin to Gustav Mahler, from Alexis de Tocqueville to Charles Beard, from the notion of constitution in seventeenth-century England to the concept of neutrality in twentieth-century Austria.

This storied career brought him in the 1950s from the University of Vienna to the University of Chicago—of which he draws a brilliant picture—and later took him to Berlin and eventually back to Austria. One of the few prominent scholars equally at home with U.S. history and the history of central Europe, Stourzh has informed these geographically diverse experiences and subjects with the overarching themes of his scholarly achievement: the comparative study of liberal constitutionalism and the struggle for equal rights at the core of Western notions of free government. Composed between 1953 and 2005 and including a new autobiographical essay written especially for this volume, From Vienna to Chicago and Back will delight Stourzh fans, attract new admirers, and make an important contribution to transatlantic history.

384 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2007

History: American History, European History

Philosophy: Philosophy of Society

Political Science: Classic Political Thought


"Written with laudable clarity and precision, [the book] represents a valuable compendium and introduction to the work of this gifted historian of transatlantic legal and political thought."

Richard Schaefer | H-German

"The republication of the essays in book form can only be welcomed. . . . Stourzh’s project to write of the Tocquevillian moment in western history . . . unites his historical interests into an overarching synthesis. It constitutes riches indeed."

Jonathan Kwan | H-Review

"[An] erudite and eloquent anthology. . . . [The essays] are amazingly fresh--something that is surely attributable both to the author’s erudition and his enthusiasm for the subjects he treats."

Central European History

"Stourzh has set a high standard of practice for the historical profession. This volume of essays justly celebrates his contributions to U.S. and European history."

Samuel R. Williamson, Jr. | Contemporary Austrian Studies

"The intellectual originality and meticulous scholarship of the essays in this book attest to Gerald Stourzh’s continuing importance as a comparative historian of incomparably deep . . . and unsurpassed dedication to responsible and morally informed scholarship."

Aviel Roshwald | Austrian History Yearbook

"In this dialectic between connection and liberation, order and freedom of will, lies the heart of Stourzh’s scholarly passion, and also his moral passion. For him to be so open and articulatte about such deep themes in a retrospective volume of academic essays is testimony to a scholarly life well lived."

Steven Beller | European History Quarterly

Table of Contents

Foreword by Bernard Bailyn
Foreword by John W. Boyer

Introduction: Traces of an Intellectual Journey

Part I: Anglo-American History

1. Reason and Power in Benjamin Franklin’s Political Thought (1953)
2. William Blackstone: Teacher of Revolution (1970)
3. Constitution: Changing Meanings of the Term from the Early Seventeenth Century to the Late Eighteenth Century (1988)
4. Charles A. Beard’s Interpretations of American Foreign Policy (1957)

Part II: Austrian History - Imperial and Republican

5. The Multinational Empire Revisited: Reflections on Late Imperial Austria (1992)
6. Ethnic Attribution in Late Imperial Austria: Good Intentions, Evil Consequences (1994)
7. The National Compromise in the Bukovina (1996)
8. Max Diamant and Jewish Diaspora Nationalism in the Bukovina (2002)
9. The Age of Emancipation and Assimilation: Liberalism and Its Heritage (2001)
10. An Apogee of Conversions: Gustav Mahler, Karl Krause, and fin de Siècle Vienna (2004)
11. The Origins of Austrian Neutrality (1988)

Part III: The Tocquevillian Moment: From Hierarchical Status to Equal Rights

12. Equal Rights: Equalizing the Individual’s Status and the Breakthrough of the Modern Liberal State (1996)
13. Liberal Democracy as a Culture of Rights: England, the United States, and Continental Europe (2000)
14. Tocqueville’s Understanding of "Conditions of Equality" and "Conditions of Inequality" (2006)
15. The Unforgivable Sin: An Interpretation of Albert Camus’ The Fall (1961)

Appendix: Bibliographical Information
Index of Names
Index of Subjects

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press