Hobsbawm: History and Politics
Historian Eric Hobsbawm is in all probability the key chronicler of the trendy age. His panoramic reviews of the 19th and 20th centuries, stretching from the French Revolution to the autumn of Soviet communism, have knowledgeable the historic recognition of students and normal readers alike. even as, his writings on labour pursuits and socialist politics have occupied a principal position in left-wing debates. regardless of this, no prolonged research of Hobsbawm's paintings has but been tried Gregory Elliott fills this hole in exemplary fashion.
Elliott analyses either the scholarly list of Hobsbawm and the highbrow and political trip that his existence represents. In doing so, he seeks to situate Hobsbawm's notion in the context of a generalised predicament of self assurance at the Left after the autumn of the Berlin Wall.
Rich in content material and written in Elliott's authoritative and hugely readable kind, this ebook is a needs to for a person with an curiosity in Hobsbawm and the difficulty of the Left.
fast pre-war years, yet whose tastes took them in the direction of the neo-romantic, quasisurrealist form of poetry ... [of] the 40's: the Rousseauists, instead of the Voltaireans between us.5 Spurning the musical tradition of a next new release of Rousseauists, the Voltairean critic, albeit concentrating on what he looked no longer rather a lot infamy as inanity, could Elliott T01891 01 textual content forty four 02/09/2010 07:30 the in te rn ati o nal an d the isla nd r ace four five rashly are expecting in 1963 that ‘[i]n 20 years’.
‘traditional’ guide operating category within the Fifties and ’60s used to be new within the Eighties, shaped in and via those conditions. It was once extensively divided right into a expert minority, organised in craft unions and having fun with a ’ marketplace, and an unskilled mass, principally unorganised and subsisting in a dealers’ marketplace. It was once, and for good over 50 years remained, particularly homogeneous socially and culturally, a separate (even segregated), self-consciously proletarian property that shaped a majority of the British.
The inception of Hobsbawm’s venture, even though the descent into barbarism at the killing fields of the 1st international conflict, capitalism had an exceptional destiny sooner than it: the socialism (and, finally, communism) for which, as Marx had all alongside insisted, it vouchsafed the preconditions – specifically, abolition of the cloth Elliott T01891 01 textual content 89 02/09/2010 07:30 90 hobs bawm: his to ry an d po l i t ics shortage that used to be the mainspring of sophistication society and creation of the social.
destiny, which intended revolution. however it intended revolution no longer in a destructive yet in a favorable experience. the good October revolution and Soviet Russia proved to us that this kind of new global used to be possible...52 Elliott T01891 01 textual content 102 02/09/2010 07:30 e ni gmati c va r iatio ns 103 it's the confounding of these expectancies – the mingled hopes and fears of capitalist ashes and a socialist phoenix coming up from them within the 20th century – that Hobsbawm needed to deal with in Age of Extremes. In so.
valuable accountability used to be firmly laid via Hobsbawm on the door of the previous – likewise an ideocracy, contrariwise a democracy, the place crusading anti-communism loomed huge in presidential structures (e.g., Kennedy’s in 1960, Reagan’s twenty years later).109 regardless of escalation of the palms race – tersely dubbed a ‘descent into lunacy’110 – by means of the Nineteen Eighties configuration of geopolitics as a contest among antagonist socio-economic platforms superintended through rival super-powers more and more diverged.