Suggested Reading List
A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888-1889
Author: Frederic Morton
Description: A portrait of Vienna at the end of the 19th century, this book focuses on Crown Prince Rudolph, his devastating suicide and the rich texture of gossip and daily life at the Habsburg Court.
Cadogan Guide Vienna, Prague and Budapest
Author: Cadogan Guide
Description: Three authors teamed up for this in-depth cultural guide to the history, architecture, artistic heritage and sights of these three capital cities.
Classical Music 101, A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Classical Music
Author: Fred Plotkin
Description: Plotkin's primer on classical music is geared to the casual, intellectually curious listener and does an admirable job of describing how best to experience and appreciate the great works, both new and old.
Dvorak and His World
Author: Michael Beckerman
Description: A fascinating view of the Czech composer's personal life and his influence on the world around him.
Fin-de-Siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture
Author: Carl E. Schorske
Description: A landmark study of turn-of-the century Vienna -- one of the key chapters in modern intellectual history. Among its luminaries were Freud, Klimt, Kokoshka and Schoenberg.
Germany, Benelux, Austria, Czech Republic Map
Author: Michelin Travel Publications
Description: This handy map shows road and river routes from Amsterdam and Berlin to Prague, Vienna, Munich and Salzburg at a scale of 1:1,000,000.
Mozart, A Life
Author: Maynard Solomon
Description: Solomon here tears down the myth of Mozart as the "eternal child," while adding great depth to the psychological and artistic development of the musical genius. The book also illustrates life in 18th-century Salzburg.
Mozart, A Life
Author: Paul Johnson
Description: Paul Johnson is a master at chronicling the life of the masters: from Napoleon and Churchill to Jesus and Darwin. In this concise yet rich volume on Mozart, Johnson focuses on the musical master’s copious compositions and genius for instrumentation.
Author: Borch Maps
Description: A handy, laminated map of Munich at a scale of 1:11,000.
Opera 101, A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera
Author: Fred Plotkin, Placido Domingo (Introduction)
Description: A well-written introduction to opera, this volume includes a brief history of the art form, a guide to operatic terms and a review of 11 famous operas.
Author: Berndtson & Berndtson
Description: A laminated, detailed map of the center of Prague at a scale of 1:10,000.
Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Paul Wilson (Editor)
Description: This anthology of 24 vivid stories by Czech writers, both contemporary and well-known, brings the city, history, spirit and people to life and includes a helpful map for the traveler.
Prost! The Story of German Beer
Author: Horst D. Dornbusch
Description: The Munich-based aficionado weaves history and culture with the marvels and mysteries of German beer in this brief, authoritative guide.
Richard Strauss and His World
Author: Bryan Gilliam
Description: A collection of scholarly essays compiled for a festival at Bard College, analyzing the composer's music and legacy.
The Age of Insight, The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present
Author: Eric R. Kandel
Description: A neuroscientist documents the work of five leading minds, including Sigmund Freud and Gustave Klimt, in 1900 Vienna, revealing how their critical breakthroughs in science, medicine, and art laid the groundwork for present-day discoveries in brain science.
The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire
Author: Andrew Wheatcroft
Description: With skillful scholarship and engaging style, Wheatcroft reveals the history of this family of eccentric monarchs.
The Hare With Amber Eyes
Author: Edmund De Waal
Description: Edmund de Waal unfolds the story of his remarkable family, a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who "burned like a comet" in early 20th-century Paris and Vienna.
The Lady in Gold, The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece
Author: Anne-Marie O'Connor
Description: Washington Post journalist O'Connor recreates the intellectual and artistic milieu of turn-of-century Vienna in this haunting look at the artist Gustav Klimpt, his famous portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, and the her niece, Maria Bloch-Bauer and her battle with the Austrian government to recover five Klimpt paintings stolen by Hitler. Ronald Lauder bought the Lady in Gold for the Neue Galerie in New York.
The Radetzky March
Author: Joseph Roth, Joachim Neugroschel (Translator)
Description: Magnificently set against the backdrop of the twilight of the Habsburg empire, Roth's family saga takes in the sweep of history and empire in Central Europe. The richly textured novel opens at the battle of Solferino, when young Lieutenant Trotta saves the life of the Emperor.
The Third Man and the Fallen Idol
Author: Graham Greene
Description: A haunting tale and penetrating portrait of Vienna after World War II, "The Third Man" is the result of Greene's collaboration with Carol Reed on the classic movie. "The Fallen Idol" is a separate tale of intrigue set in Britain.
Author: Berndtson & Berndtson
Description: A handy laminated map of the city center.
Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Donald Daviau
Description: Organized by neighborhood, these 15 alluring tales introduce both the city and its writers, including Arthur Schnitzler, Robert Musil, Stefan Zweig and even Franz Kafka, who had a long and complicated association with the city.
Wagner Without Fear, Learning to Love-And Even Enjoy-Opera's Most Demanding Genius
Author: William Berger
Description: Berger's delightful guide is invaluable in exploring the exotic world of opera's most controversial composer. Irreverent and readable, it helps to make Wagner accessible to even the greatest of skeptics.