The Age of Revolution 1789-1848
Neither textbook nor narrative, Hobsbawm’s classic is an interpretive essay whose many insights, expressed in memorable style, continue to stimulate and inspire. He abandoned Stalinism long ago, and his nuanced Marxism sympathizes with workers, peasants and rebels, which still seems to provoke some critics. Revolution is seen as an effective response to industrialization and political centralization, but this is no endorsement of the oppressive regimes which emerged from various revolutionary situations. In going beyond politics and economy to include culture, Hobsbawm (not coincidentally a dedicated music listener) points toward the current style of comprehensive history text. While the focus is on Europe, global comparisons and impacts receive coverage, though some prior knowledge is helpful. In 1962 social and cultural history—much of it inspired by his innovations—was just starting to transform history’s scope. Since the original text is mostly unrevised, this is the main limitation to a book that will instruct and inform for many more years. Hobsbawm’s «Interesting Times» tells his compelling life story with great vitality even in his ninth decade. The times are indeed interesting!
Eric Hobsbawm was born in Alexandria in 1917 and was educated in Vienna, Berlin, London and Cambridge. A Fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, with honorary degrees from universities in several countries, he taught until retirement at Birkbeck College, University of London, and since then at the New School for Social Research in New York. All his books have been translated into several languages. —This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.