The Seven Years War in Europe: 1756-1763 (Anglais) Broché – 23 août 2007
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
"Both scholars and students will be most grateful to Szabo for having provided them with a compact and well-written summary of the present state of knowledge."
Michael Hochedlinger, Austrian State Archives
Présentation de l'éditeur
In this pioneering new work, based on a thorough re-reading of primary sources and new research in the Austrian State Archives, Franz Szabo presents a fascinating reassessment of the continental war.
Professor Szabo challenges the well-established myth that the Seven Years War was won through the military skill and tenacity of the King of Prussia, often styled Frederick the Great. Instead he argues that Prussia did not win, but merely survived the Seven Years War and did so despite and not because of the actions and decisions of its king.
With balanced attention to all the major participants and to all conflict zones on the European continent, the book describes the strategies and tactics of the military leaders on all sides, analyzes the major battles of the war and illuminates the diplomatic, political and financial aspects of the conflict.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
The downside to the book is that he seems to have a person beef with Frederick. It is almost as if Maria Theresa wrote the book herself. He describes Frederick as a monster who just reaps all the benefits of victory. In addition he makes Austria look as the principle victim of the war, never mentioning that Austria and Russia had plans to completely dismantle Prussia. As another reviewer states when Szabo describes the two states most effected by the war he never mentioned that Prussia lost 1/9 of its population fighting the Allies. He insults to Frederick almost border on the ridiculous portraying Frederick as "an opportunist and risk taker dressed in the veneer of an intellectual, but at root a heartless killer..." Other times he goes as far as to insult Frederick's flute playing abilities and his philosophic thinking. His poetry is disgraced but he strongly favors Kaunitz'.
In short this is a great book on the stategy and politics of the Seven Years War. If the Frederick bias were left out I would give it 5 stars. Not that I have a problem with him disagreeing with Frederick's image, he merely resorts in some cases to complete insulting that becomes repetative and often annoying.
In the meantime, I will press forward on this tome with the hope that the authors bias will fade. I gave it three stars at this point based on hope alone.
In addition to the overall Anti Prussian bias, the attacks made on Frederick of Prussia are in some places accurate, but in most places over the top and distracting from the overarching picture. Szabo descirbes Frederick as a "thief", and his invasion of Silesia is rightly condemned, but certainly not deserving of anymore attention than the other wars of conquest undertaken by monarchs of the 16th-18th centuries. More distracting than this is his thinly veiled accusations of cowardice, his complete derision of Fredericks tactical capabilities, and non-relevant disparagement of Fredericks poetry, Hygienic habits, and musical ability. Any slightly heroic action on Fredericks part is dismissed as a propaganda play, and victories are invariably the result of other Prussians, not Frederick, while defeats are his sole responsibility. I quote from page 24: "Frederick more directly was personally responsible for Prussia's failures, if, ironically, not its successes." Any authors slightly less critcal of Frederick are lambasted as "Apologists for Frederick" including respected Historian and Author Christopher Duffy. Finally, Frederick is blatantly blamed for the actions of Nazi Germany during the 20th Century, and HITLER is described as "Lacking Frederick's capacity for ruthlessness."
In closing, this excellent overview of the war is marred by the open animus of its author. For a overview of the war, as well as excellent logistical and economic information, it is second to none. However, the pro Austrian viewpoint (Szabo dedicated the book to his two Austrian grandfathers, both veterans of World War 1) would not be distracting without the attacks on Prussia which, instead of convincing the audience, leaves them wondering why Szabo has such a chip on his shoulder.