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Global Austria

Günter Bischof
Fritz Plasser

Book reviews

John W. Boyer, Karl Lueger (1844-1910): Christlichsoziale Politik als Beruf: Eine Biografie

Vienna: Böhlau, 2010

Peter Berger

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It took more than two years to convince Emperor Francis Joseph I of the political wisdom of appointing the notorious populist and demagogue Karl Lueger mayor of Vienna. Between 1895 and 1897 Lueger’s bid for power, based on a string of electoral victories of his Christian Social Party, was stubbornly opposed by the sexagenarian monarch, and by Austrian Prime Minister Kasimir Badeni. When the inaugural ceremony finally took place on 20 April 1897, Lueger told the attending crowd that he saw it as his duty as incoming head of the communal government to oppose the influence of foreigners upon all matters Viennese in a measured, yet determined way. His words were interpreted as a warning directed against Hungary’s political leadership (whose strong dislike of Lueger had caused it to scheme against his mayoral appointment), but also as yet another thinly veiled expression of Christian social Jew-and Slav-bashing. With hindsight, Lueger’s thirteenyear tenure as burgomaster of Vienna (he u...

© innsbruck university press, 2011

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