Wien, Wien, nur Du alleinnCarl E. Schorske: Fin-de-Si^clenVienna; Politics and Culture; AlfrednA. Knopf; New York.nby Paul GottfriednCarl Schorske, an historian of the pre-nWorld War 1 German Socialist Party, hasnnever hidden his radical-left sympathies.nDuring the Reagan administration, henleft a professorship at Berkeley to take anmore lucrative post at Princeton; the reasonnhe loudly proclaimed for the jobnchange was his fear of “repressive politics.”nIn acknowledging the debts incurrednwhile constructing his book, henlists academics who seem generally inntune with his views: Norman O. Brown,nradical sexologist, Arno Mayer, Princetonnhistorian and a central EuropeannMarxist-Leninist, and William Mc-nGrath, a University of Rochester professornof German history who has farednremarkably well among a number ofnMarxist-leaning colleagues.nDespite these immaculately propernacknowledgments, Schorske travelsnlight in this book, without ideologicalnbaggage. His essays on late 19th-centurynVienna are done with sensitivitynand polish. His attempt to link Viennesenartistic and intellectual productivity tona crisis of self-rejection among the Austriannbourgeoisie yields occasionally profoundninsights. The city of Vienna evenntoday remains largely an architecturalnmonument erected by such 19th-centuryndesigners as Otto Wagner and TheophilnHansen. It was intended as a continuingntestimony to the ascendancy ofnthe Austrian middle class. The parliamentnand other government buildings,nthe theaters and museums, and, abovenall, the sumptuous Ringstrasse, with itsnproliferating gardens and apartments,npoint back to an era of municipal selfconfidencenand to the coming of age ofnDr. Gottfried teaches history at RockfordnCollege.ncentral Europe’s bankers, industrialistsnand professional class. Parliamentaryngovernment, the abolition of aristocraticnprivilege and the proclamation of religiousnfreedom in the Danubian monarchynwere all developments which the middlenclass sought, then welcomed when theyncame. From a defender of the CounternReformation church and bureaucraticnabsolution, the Hapsburg dynasty becamena protector of religious minoritiesn(like the Jews), while furnishing honorsnfor self-made men.nNonetheless, serious problemsnwracked the empire and brought doubtnto the middle class about the preservationnof its way of life. Ethnic minoritiesngrew restive in a multinational state.nThe Czechs and Austro-Germans usednthe Imperial Diet to denounce each other;nthey and other nationalities took tondescribing the Hapsburg monarchy as an”prison house.” To this ferment amongnnationalities was added the specter ofnclass struggle. The socialist movement,nwith its proletariat base and Marxistnprinciples, called for the eradication ofncapitalist institutions. It, too, identifiednthe state as a repressive instrument, anvestige of the feudal past which hadnbeen converted into a bulwark of middleclassndominance. Finally, politicians likenthe Viennese mayor Karl Lueger triednto exploit rising anti-Semitism in thencity’s working-class population, whichnwas their reaction against the numerousnJewish capitalists among the risingnAustrian and Hungarian bourgeoisie.nCombining anti-Jewish and anti-Slavicnrhetoric with a program of social welfare,nLueger got himself elected mayornin the 1890’s, much to the horror ofnboth the Hapsburgs and the educatednmiddle class. As mayor he proved to benconciliatory and civic-minded, although,nas Schorske points out, his campaigningngave evidence of “politics in a new key.”nAccording to Schorske, the culturalnmodernism that emerged from fin-desieclenVienna dramatized the cumulativennnimpact of these attacks on bourgeoisnsociety. The 19th-century bourgeoisienhad staked its future on the principlesnof orderly economic development, constitutionalnmonarchy and individualnfreedom. The forces that rose to challengenit in the Hapsburg state were collectivist,natavistic and violence-prone.nThe intellectual and cultural achievementsnthat accompanied this challengenstressed human irrationality and thenbrittleness of civilization.nOchorske skillfully reveals the commonnground among a wide variety ofnAustrian cultural innovators. These includenArnold Schoenberg, twelve-tonencomposer, Oskar Kokoschka, expressionistnartist, Sigmund Freud, father ofnpsychoanalysis, Arthur Schnitzler, naturalistnplaywright, and Hugo von Hofmannsthal,nenterprising lyrical librettistnfor Richard Strauss’s operas. Withoutntrying to ignore their intellectualndifferences, he views their work as anbody of related responses to an alreadythreatenednstandard of rationality andnpolitical order. Such responses came innvaried forms, from von Hofmannsthal’sncult of beauty and his call for an “estheticncounterrevolution” to Schoenberg’snmusical experimentation tonFreud’s study of primeval psychic drives.nSchorske applies the same analyticalnframework in assessing the politicalntrends of the period. Looking at Austro-nGerman and other ethnic secessionists,nsocialists, political anti-Semites andnZionists, he finds a common link inntheir rejection of a multinational empirenbased on economic and dynasticnties and on bourgeois civilities.nYet, ironically, almost all these criticalnresponses came from middle-classnfigures. Not all these critics were determinednto destroy their society, andnat least some personalities whomnSchorske analyzes—e.g. Schnitzler,nFreud and von Hofmannsthal—werenpassionately devoted to its maintenance.nSeptember/October 1980n