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The messy multi-ethnic empire…

The messy multi-ethnic empire, the so-called Austro-Hungarian empire, vanished after the great war, along with the Ottoman neighbor and rival, and, to a large extent, sibling don’t tell them —to be replaced with the crisp and clean nation state of Austria. This would be the equivalent of moving New York City to central Texas, and still call it New York. Stefan Zweig, the Viennese Jewish novelist, then considered the most influential author in the world, expressed his pain in the poignant memoir, The Snows of Yesteryear. Vienna joined the league of multicultural cities such as Alexandria, Smyrna, Aleppo, Prague, Thessaloniki, Constantinople now Istanbul, Trieste, now squeezed into the Procrustean bed of the nation-state, with its citizens left into the grip of intergenerational nostalgia. Unable to handle the loss, he later committed suicide in Brazil.
(Chapter on Nation State)

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