August 15, 2008 Distinguished Historian Gerald Stourzh To Discuss Career and Book at Library of Congress, Sept. 24

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

Distinguished Austrian historian Gerald Stourzh, professor emeritus at the University of Vienna, is one of the few prominent scholars equally at home with U.S. history and the history of central Europe. Stourzh will discuss his storied career and his latest book, a collection of 15 essays previously published from 1953 to 2005, in a lecture at the Library of Congress titled “Traces of an Intellectual Journey: Gerald Stourzh Presents His Book ‘From Vienna to Chicago and Back” at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 24. The event, which will take place in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. The lecture is sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center and the European Division, both of the Library of Congress, and the Austrian Cultural Forum of Washington. Stourzh’s book, “From Vienna to Chicago and Back: Essays on Intellectual History and Political Thought in Europe and America” (2007), covers a variety of topics in American and European history, examining the impact of law on politics. The book looks at Anglo-American topics such as the influence of William Blackstone on pre-revolutionary political discourse in the 13 colonies and the conceptual evolution of the constitution as a foundation of government. The book also examines 19th- and 20th-century Austrian history, and studies the development of equal rights that are at the core of Western democratic governments. Stourzh was born in Vienna in 1929. From 1951 to 1958 he worked at the University of Chicago and at the American Foundation for Political Education (1956-1957). On his return to Austria in 1958, he established the Austrian Association for Foreign Policy. After two years in the Austrian Foreign Service, he became professor of modern and North American history at the Free University of Berlin from 1964 to 1969. He then returned to Austria to become professor of modern history at the University of Vienna. He is the author of several books in English and German, including “Alexander Hamilton and the Idea of Republican Government” (1970) and “Benjamin Franklin and American Foreign Policy” (1954). His publications on the Austrian State Treaty form the leading body of work on that subject. Stourz has also won acclaim for his work on the history of human, civil and minority rights in Austria. The Austrian Cultural Forum Washington, Embassy of Austria, was created with the objective of serving as a focus of cultural exchange between Austrians/Europeans and Americans. It is an agency of the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs and integrated into the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit The European Division is responsible for providing reference and for developing the Library’s collections relating to continental Europe except for Iberia. Its European Reading Room should be the starting point for readers whose interests concern European countries other than Spain, Portugal, Great Britain and Ireland. For more information on the European Division’s resources and services, visit Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information on fellowships, grants and programs, visit


PR 08-137
ISSN 0731-3527