Unruly Masses - The Other side of Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
Oxford / New York: Berghahn Books, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84545-345-9 (hardback), 184 pp.
Fin-de-Siècle Vienna has become the glorified icon of innovative modernism in the arts and letters. Yet the misery of the masses in the suburbs stood in stark contrast to the urban social order of the wealthy elites who were facing the new “collective subjects” of emerging mass politics. The aesthetically highly differentiated culture of these elites opposed a culture of the masses stigmatized as profane and vulgar. Furthermore, their skeptical discourse of reason rooted in the late bourgeois enlightenment was in stark contrast to the irrational ferment of a “politics of feeling” that found expression in (German) nationalism and anti-Semitism.