Red Vienna: Experiment in Working-Class Culture, 1919-1934
- Publish Date: 1991-08-22
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Helmut Gruber
From 1919 to 1934, the Socialist government in Vienna sought to create a comprehensive working-class culture, striving to provide a foretaste of the socialist utopia in the present. In Red Vienna, Gruber critically examines the impact of this experiment in all areas of life, from massive public housing projects and health and education programs to socialist parades, festivals, and sporting events designed to create a new working class. The Socialist program faced enormous obstacles, arising from the exaggerated expectations of the socialist leaders and their conventional cultural vision, from the resistance of workers, and from the competition of commercial and mass culture. Gruber then evaluates the limited and partial success of the Viennese model -- clearly the most comprehensive in the West and a democratic alternative to the Bolsheviks' experiment in Soviet Russia -- to pose general questions about attempts to fashion culture from above.