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Download Vienna, 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Vienna, 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna, by David King Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (194 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David King Narrator: Mel Foster Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Napoleonic Wars had torn Europe apart, and the peace conference of 1814 was to be held in the continent’s grandest city: Vienna. Everyone had an agenda in the postwar world, and spy networks, bitter hatreds, illicit affairs, and tangled alliances ensued.

Despite the gravity of the situation, the Hapsburg Emperor of Austria, in opening his splendid rococo palace to the European royals and providing elaborate banquets and lavish entertainments, set the stage for the most extravagant pageantry since the fall of the Roman Empire. Guests were swept up in the dazzling whirlwind of social events—masquerades, hunts, and elaborate dinners—even as maps were being redrawn, rulers reinstated or ousted, and fortunes transferred. Ultimately, the Congress of Vienna ushered in the longest period of peace Europe has ever known. Vienna 1814 is a rich, impeccably researched history of the intrigue and frivolity that would forever mark the Congress of Vienna as the greatest Vanity Fair of all time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A sensuous account of the conference that moves gracefully between negotiating tables, salons, and ballrooms.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A worthy contribution to the study of a critical historical event long neglected by historians.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Deftly paced and engagingly written.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bill | 2/18/2014

    " This book starts very slow, with the admittedly required set-up of the characters. Metternich, Tallyrand, and the other key figures at the Congress of Vienna are placed in their historical context, and the reader gets a primer on each of their backgrounds and what makes each one tic. Next comes a section which makes a reader feel like he is reading Us Weekly, rather than a historical work, with details of sordid affairs, and other gossip that is seemingly unworthy of a serious look at one of the major events in world history. However, it becomes clear, as details of Tsar Alexander's ability to play on Metternich's heart strings by taking up with his former mistress, that these events really are key to the diplomatic maneuvering and posturing of the Congress. Davis demonstrates that the resulting peace was less an orchestrated agreement than a poor, nearly accidental compromise. The next step in this logic, which Davis never explicity lays out, is that the peace held more because Europe was so traumatized by war than because of the just peace that brought it to a close. Instead, Davis notes that the strong Prussia which emerged laid the seeds for the wars of the 20th century, and the failure to contain Russia and nix its ambitions in Southeast Europe (the Balkans and Turkish territories) sparked future struggles from the Crimean War to the Cold War. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Glenn Robinson | 2/1/2014

    " A remarkable story of how all the rulers of Europe came together for 6 months or so to solve peace as we know it-and fail. Parties, intrigue, spying and Napolean escaping Elba. Fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Gouty | 1/24/2014

    " A very good history of the Congress of Vienna. For those who are not history geeks, after the first defeat of Napoleon the winning powers (Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia were the main ones) met in Vienna to decide the fate of Europe. Such questions as should there be a Poland (no), what would happen to the Kingdom of Naples (it went back to the Bourbons). It is a very dry subject, but the author makes it very lively. It amazed me how much of the politics were conducted in lady's salons, and the amount of influence a few key ladies had over policy. Not a bad book, but I would recommend it to the true history geeks only. Definitely not a beach read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Britaini | 1/16/2014

    " A great book with insight into Vienna as the Europeans tried to figure out how to split up Europe but instead had a huge party. "

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About the Author

David King is a Fulbright scholar with a master’s degree from Cambridge University, and the author of Finding Atlantis, which was a Main Selection of the Book of the Month Club and which has been translated into several languages. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife and daughter.

About the Narrator

Mel Foster is a prolific audiobook narrator, having read dozens of titles throughout his career. He is the recipient of the prestigious Audie Award, as well as the AudioFile Earphones Award. A former advertising agency executive who used to record test tracks for commercials, his narration career was born out of encouragement from his clients who would often say, “why are we hiring someone else? I like this guy.”