by James Longo
This book is an excellent work of non-fiction which brings to light the story of a family defined by their imperial history. However, the Habsburg dynasty did not disappear with the collapse of their over 800 year old empire, after WW1. The descendents of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination sparked WW1, became the obsession of Adolf Hitler, who spent his youth in obscurity, resenting the luxury of the Austrian royals. As a result, the imperial children grew to become Hitler’s biggest political threat to his dream of controlling his homeland of Austria. They out maneuvered Hitler politically by securing alliances and making plans to reestablish the House of Habsburg as the imperial house of Austria. Thus forcing Hitler to default to his military advantage to force an annexation using fear and threats. The children of the Archduke soon became Hitler’s subjects and their political war and the consequences of such a war became far more dangerous. This is a story of resilience and provides great insight into a topic not well covered by historians, all without being to difficult of a read.