Hamann is a Ph. D. and author of several works on nineteenth-
and twentieth- century Austrian history, including The
Reluctant Empress: A Biography of Empress Elisabeth
of Austria. She lives in Vienna.
Copyright 1999 by Brigitte Hamann
Vienna explores the critical, formative years that
the young Adolf Hitler spent in Vienna. It is both a
cultural and political portrait of the Austrian capital
and a biography of Hitler during his years there, from
1906 to 1913. Hitler's was not the modern, artistic
"fin-de-siècle Vienna" we associate
with Freud, Mahler, and Wittgenstein. Instead, it was
a cauldron of fear and ethnic rivalry and a breeding
ground for racist po1itical theories. Brigitte Hamann
vividly depicts the undercurrent of disturbing ideologies
that flowed beneath the glitter of the Hapsburg capital.
Drawing on previously untapped sources that range from
personal reminiscences to the records of homeless shelters
where the unemployed Hitler spent his nights, Hamann
gives us the fullest account ever rendered of this period
of Hitler's life and shows us how profoundly his years
in Vienna influenced his later career.