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The War of the Austrian Succession


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The War of the Austrian Succession proved an endless procession of unpleasantness among a handful of dynastic families that ruled Europe in the 18th century. It was such a hodgepodge of affairs that historiographers cannot agree whether it was one war or three. In Germany, the war is as likely to be called the First and Second Silesian wars. Nevertheless, Browning (history, Kenyon Coll.) tries to tie this series of squabbles into a coherent account. For the most part, he succeeds, except when he lapses into the archaic language of his subjects: ``Maria Theresa embodies adamance amid asthenia.'' Browning presents little that is new in content or thesis. What makes this account worthwhile is that it is the first comprehensive, scholarly book of this war (or wars). Scholars of the era will find it interesting; the general public will find it longer than the war. For academic collections but a marginal purchase for public libraries.-- Randall L. Schroeder, Augustana Coll. Lib., Rock Island, Ill.

"At long last we have a thoroughly researched and comprehensive history of the War of the Austrian Succession. Professor Browning has written a witty and engaging narrative that turns the volume's size into a real plus for students and scholars of military and diplomatic history. This is good, old-fashioned history at its best." --Charles Ingrao, Purdue University

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