Austria : a country study by Eric Solsten

By Eric Solsten

2nd version. Edited by means of Eric Solsten and David E. McClave. ready through Library of Congress, Federal study department. learn accomplished December 1993.  Describes and analyzes the political, monetary, historic, social, and nationwide defense structures of Austria.  Includes bibliographies and an index

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I have tried to avoid using the traditional intellectual crutch of the contemporary historian of conducting interviews with key leaders and other public figures. Given the sadly polemical nature of Portuguese politics, I felt that this would not achieve very much. Moreover, given that many of these public figures are still active in politics, or other related areas, I believed that there was too much danger of ‘political colouring’ in their responses to me (something I have experienced in some of my previous works related to other parts of the world).

Forty years after the Revolution the scars and bitterness remain within this group. Many families did not survive the stress of effectively having to start again from scratch. Divorce rates were high. The lucky ones were able to stay with parents who had remained in Portugal. Many of the parents, however, lived in small apartments with only minimal spare space. No matter, the returned slept on sofa beds and in hallways. The key to survival was finding a job. This proved to be no easy task for most of the returnees, who found themselves competing with hundreds of local Portuguese for a single position.

In the case of the Portuguese Revolution both the British and US intelligence services failed to foresee the events that came to be known as the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974. Put simply, the US and British intelligence agencies were oblivious to the quiet winds of change that swept through Portugal during the first part of 1974. One of the main reasons for this failure appeared to be the deeply held belief that Portugal was a hugely hierarchical society, and that any change would come from individuals or groups within the existing elites in Lisbon.

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