This is the story of the decline and fall of an empire, a region devastated by war, and a world stage fundamentally transformed by the Russian Revolution. Bauer’s magisterial work -- available in English for the first time in full -- charts the evolution of three simultaneous, overlapping revolutionary waves: a national revolution for self-determination, which brought down imperial Austro-Hungary; a bourgeois revolution for parliamentary republics and universal suffrage; and a social revolution for workers’ control, factory councils, and industrial democracy.
The brief but crowning achievement of Red Vienna, alongside Bauer’s unique theorization of an "integral socialism" -- an attempted synthesis of revolutionary communism and social democracy -- is a vital part of the left’s intellectual and historical heritage. Today, as movements once again struggle with questions of reform or revolution, political strategy, and state power, this is a crucial resource. Bauer tells the story of the Austrian Revolution with all the immediacy of a central participant, and all the insight of a brilliant and original theorist.
"The appearance of Otto Bauer’s classic study, The Austrian Revolution, ably translated for the first time by Walter Baier and Eric Canepa, is ... a welcome addition to the English-language literature on Austrian history. First published in 1923, the book examines the republic’s early years from the perspective of one of European socialism’s leading theorists and one of Austria’s most important political actors. It is a work of history deeply informed by the author’s concrete political experience as well as his commitment to a Marxist approach to understanding unfolding events.” —Jacobin
"It is largely thanks to Otto Bauer’s The Austrian Revolution that I discovered the richness of the Austro-Marxist tradition and the many affinities between the writings of Bauer and of our Gramsci, especially on the question of hegemony.’ – Luciana Castellina, co-founder of Il Manifesto
"The revolution in Central Europe in 1918-21 was a giant event that came closer to changing world history than most of us realize. For English-speakers, this translation opens a challenging new window on the Austrian workers’ council movement and the role of the Entente powers in the counter-revolution that followed. Published in 1923, it stands unique as an analysis of the revolution’s internal dynamics and the costs of defeat.’ – Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums
"Otto Bauer’s The Austrian Revolution is one of the classics of Marxist political analysis comparable to Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire or Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution, and it is one of the forgotten shining gems of the extraordinarily rich literature of Austro-Marxism." – Michael R. Krätke, author of Friedrich Engels
"Red Vienna and the contributions of its protagonists like Otto Bauer are tragically overlooked on the contemporary left. Baier and Canepa have edited a thrilling work from Bauer with the aim of correcting that―and to chart a new course for those looking for alternatives to bankrupt social-democratic parties and defeated Leninist ones."– Bhaskar Sunkara, founding editor of Jacobin
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Join us for a discussion marking the publication of Otto Bauer’s magisterial work, The Austrian Revolution.