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You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org
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The Radetzky March
by Joseph Roth, Joachim Neugroschel (Translator)
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.
Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Donald Daviau
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.
by Claudio Magris
Mixing history, personalities and literature, Magris traces the course of the Danube from its source in the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the Balkans to the Black Sea in this anything but conventional travelogue, first published in 1986.
by John Lukacs
Written by a distinguished historian and native son, this richly detailed portrait of the city at its zenith includes hundreds of illustrations.
A History of Slovakia, The Struggle for Survival
by Stanislav K. Kirschbaum
A historian from Bratislava traces his nation's roots from the first arrival on the Danubian Plain to Slovakia's declaration of independence in 1993. A particularly solid discussion of the Communist period and the nation's relationship with the Czechs and Hungary.
Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Paul Wilson (Editor)
This anthology of 24 vivid stories by Czech writers, both contemporary and well-known, brings the city, history, spirit and people to life.
Central Europe Map
by Freytag & Berndt
This colorful regional European map, like the sister map Europe Grand Tour (EUR185), covers from Paris and Amsterdam to Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Rome and Dubrovnik.
A Time of Gifts
by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Fermor effortlessly interweaves anecdote, history and culture in this exuberant account of a walk from Holland, up the Rhine and down the Danube, through Germany, Prague and Austria in 1933. Written not in the moment, but 40 years later, the accumulation of time and experience gives the book particular poignancy.
Lonely Planet Central Europe
by Lonely Planet
With dozens of maps, color photographs and sections on history and culture, this practical guide introduces Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and their neighbors.
Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century, A Surrealist History
by Derek Sayer
A survey of Czech culture from 1918 to the end of WWII, a golden age of modernism. Sayer deploys his encyclopedic knowledge by focusing on small details in Czech art, design, architecture, literature and music, ultimately weaving these threads into a vivid tapestry.
A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888-1889
by Frederic Morton
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.
Mozart, A Life
by Paul Johnson
Challenging myths surrounding Mozart’s health, religion and relationships, biographer Paul Johnson shows the great composer’s lasting impact on the musical world with insight.
The Danube, A Cultural History
by Andrew Beattie
Beattie gives a comprehensive overview of the Danube’s role as a vital shipping artery and a uniting thread through the region’s turbulent history.