The Austrian Revolution

The classic work by the most prominent Austro-Marxist theorist of the inter-war period, Otto Bauer, now available in English for the first time in full.

Austro-Marxism is a body of Marxist theory developed by intellectuals closely connected to the multinational Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Austria. Known as the ‘Little International’, in the last decades of the 19th century, it provided a cultural and intellectual incubation space for the socialist movements in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its successor states. After the breakup of the Empire, Austro-Marxism inspired the practice of the sucessor party in Austria, a mass party that aimed at creating a socialist society by democratic means. Famous for its achievements in the municipality of ‘Red Vienna’, the party’s Austro-Marxist theorists distanced themselves from both the reigning social democratic orthodoxy and Bolshevism.

Otto Bauer’s magisterial work 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.

Ordering Information

The Austrian Revolution
Otto Bauer
edited by Eric Canepa and Walter Baier
translated by Eric Canepa
Haymarket Books
ISBN: 9781642592160

For the European Union: here

For the UK: here

For the US: here

The publication is available as eBook and hardcopy.

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. Despite the well-known cultural openness of the Italian Communist Party, this school of thought too long remained taboo. This excellent new English edition of Bauer’s classic work will surely help fill this void in Italian Marxist culture. – 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 history of 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, only comparable to Marx’ 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. Thanks to the present excellent new translation, this classical work is now available to the English reader in a complete version for the first time. – Michael Krätke, author of Friedrich Engels

Red Vienna and the contributions of its protagonists like Otto Bauer are tragically overlooked on the contemporary left. Eric Canepa and Walter Baier 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