At the Guardian, McMeekin named a top ten list of books about Austria-Hungary, including:
The World of Yesterday by Stefan ZweigRead about the other entries on the list.
Sent off to the publisher from Brazil the day before Zweig and his wife killed themselves, this is one of history's most moving suicide notes. Although composed against the backdrop of Nazi ascendancy (roughly from 1934 to 1942), which forced the Jewish Zweig into exile, the author's real elegy is for the Austria-Hungary of 1914, before the Great War wrecked its civilisation and Europe's alongside it (Zweig, a pacifist, spent the war in Switzerland). Similar in spirit to Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, Zweig mostly avoids sentimentality, which is remarkable in the circumstances. A wonderful memoir, which perfectly captures the textures and rhythms of life in the Dual Monarchy. One can almost taste the strudel.