Inside Austria

New Challenges, Old Demons

May 2010 9781849040396 208pp


Inside Austria is a gripping, in-depth personal report on postwar Austria’s economic and social success story but also on its turbulent political history. How has this small land-locked country emerged as the European Union’s fourth richest member state? Who are the Austrians, one of Europe’s oldest people whose nation-state came into being only after the collapse of the Austro- Hungarian empire in 1918? To what extent have they come to terms with the demons of their recent past: Hitler’s Anschluss, the Waldheim affair and then later Jorg Haider’s disturbing radical right-wing ascendancy in Carinthia? This book is a unique study of the Austrian odyssey, based on a blend of academic research and half a century of personal observation by the Hungarian-born author who as a foreign correspondent and later as a political analyst obtained first-hand information from the politicians who played or are still playing a leading part in the march of events he has described.


‘A model of clarity and that higher objectivity which allows no bias and yet has a red thread through it, a humanist orientation and factual integrity, this book deserves to be a standard work of the history of Austria which it also narrates in a masterly style.’ — Lord Weidenfeld, Publisher; President of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, London

‘The most reliable, the most informative book on contemporary Austria. A joy to read.’ — Walter Laqueur, author of outstanding studies on modern European history

‘Paul Lendvai has once again succeeded in producing an excellent and enlightening volume, this time about his adopted country. He gives us a personal insight into twentieth century Austrian history and politics, often critical but always full of sympathy. This very fine translation will enable the English-speaking reader to gain unique glimpses of the highly successful Alpine Republic as seen by one of its leading public intellectuals.’ –  István Deák, Seth Low Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University

‘A lively, well-informed volume likely to appeal to the lay reader and the specialist alike. … Lendvai makes no secret that this is a very personal account yet despite this Austria does not escape the journalist’s critical eye, including its infamous past.’ – Professor Melanie Sully, Diplomatic Academy, Vienna



Paul Lendvai is a Hungarian-born Austrian journalist who worked as a correspondent for the Financial Times for more than two decades. He is the author of Hungary: Between Democracy and Authoritarianism; Inside Austria: New Challenges, Old DemonsBlacklisted: A Journalist’s Life in Central Europe; and Orbán: Europe's New Strongman, which won the Prix du Livre Européen in 2018.

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