Liechtenstein--an Alpine curiosity? A haven for financial criminals? Or a success story in modern Europe? This book examines the reality behind the clichés. Liechtenstein's history has been dramatic and precarious. Several times it was in danger of vanishing from the map, most recently in 1939 when local Nazis tried to seize power and swallow the Principality into the Third Reich. Liechtenstein has a tiny population, no natural resources and the image of a less-than-serious fairy-tale kingdom with dubious banking laws which have often proved the bane of international tax authorities. But since the 1940s Liechtenstein has actually transformed itself into one of the most advanced hi-technology countries in Europe. This fascinating book charts the story of one of the world's most unlikely countries, revealing a strategy which its rulers and elite have used through the centuries to ensure its survival.