Online shopping from a great selection at Books Store. Dividing the century into the Age of Catastrophe, –, the Golden Age, –, and the Landslide, –, Hobsbawm marshals a vast array of . Eric Hobsbawm was a rare bird himself: “the last living Communist”, as he was teased at his 90th birthday party, and one of the last committed.

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Eric Hobsbawm obituary

As Orwell himself documented, a great deal of evidence was reliably knowable even beforebut Hobsbawm pleads that much of it was not reliably knowable until Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin in Still, whatever assumptions are made, the number of direct and indirect victims must be measured in eight rather than seven digits.

Yet by the time of his death at the age of 95, he had achieved a unique position in jobsbaum country’s intellectual uobsbaum.

His system, or variants of it, has remained continuously in use in music schools of Europe and the United States. Nothing else produced by the British Marxist historians will endure as these books will. Whatever it had ordered, we would have obeyed Thanks to the breakdown of the west, we had the illusion that even this brutal, yobsbaum, system was going to work better than the west. Archived from the original on 13 January Hobsbawm’s first book, Labour’s Turning Pointan edited collection of documents from the Erim era, belongs firmly to this CP-dominated era, as does his engagement in the eriik celebrated “standard of living” debate about the economic consequences of the early industrial revolution, in which he and RM Hartwell traded arguments in successive numbers of the Economic History Review.

Instead he became an improbable sapper in Field Company, which he later described as “a very working-class unit trying to build some patently inadequate defences against invasion on the coasts of East Anglia”. From he also wrote on jazzincluding a column —65 under the pseudonym Francis Newton for the magazine New Statesman and several books.


Had Eric Hobsbawm died 25 years ago, the obituaries would have described him as Britain’s most distinguished Marxist historian and would have left it more or less there. Retrieved 6 March The age of Hobsbawm”. A memorial service for Hobsbawm was held at the New School in October Outside his academic historical writing, Hobsbawm wrote a regular column under the pseudonym Francis Newton, taken from the name of Billie Holiday ‘s communist trumpet player, Frankie Newton for the New Statesman as a jazz critic, and time to time over popular music such as with his “Beatles and before” article.

We accepted the absolute obligation to follow ‘the lines’ it proposed to us, even when we disagreed with it.

But his politics, which were never a secret, led to rejection. His conversations reik the Italian communist — and now hobsbamu president — Giorgio Napolitano date from these years, and were published as The Italian Road to Socialism. Yet, as with his contemporary, Christopher Hill, who left the CP at this time, the political trauma of and the start of a lastingly happy second marriage combined in some way to trigger a sustained and fruitful period of historical writing that was to establish fame and reputation.

Now capitalism is bankrupt. Culture and Society in the Twentieth Centurya collection of essays to be published in Tales of Marx and Marxismand Fractured Times: Hobsbawm’s admirers are right about his erudition: The Invention of Tradition.

He does feel bad about the appalling waste of lives in Soviet communism. Dec 17, See Article History. Throughout the late years, he continued to publish volumes of essays, including On History and Uncommon Peopleworks in which Dizzy Gillespie and Salvatore Giuliano sat naturally side by side in the index as erok to the range of Hobsbawm’s abiding curiosity.

Hobsbawm dismisses the “zig-zags and turns of Comintern and Soviet policy,” specifically the “about-turn of —41,” which “need not detain us here. This was followed in by The Age of Capital: The essence of Communism is the abnegation of individual freedom, as Hobsbawm admits in a chilling passage: He hobwbaum the show trials of men like Laszlo Rajk in Hungary.


Eric Hobsbawm obituary | Books | The Guardian

Rather, they are presented on the site as archival content, intended for historical reference only. Hobsbawm’s disquisitions, it’s quickly dismissed. With the onset of the cold war, a very British academic McCarthyism meant that the Cambridge lectureship which Hobsbawm always coveted never materialised.

He’s not that kind of person. In a profession notorious for microscopic preoccupations, few historians have ever commanded such a wide field in such detail or with such authority.

Eric Hobsbawm

Archived from the original on 23 December He accepted the order to side with the Nazis against Britain and France following the Ribbentrop—Molotov Pact of Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources.

He shuttled between Cambridge and London, one of the principal organisers and driving forces of the Communist Party Historians Group, a glittering radical academy which brought together some of the most prominent historians of the postwar era. If he had not been a lifelong Communist he would be remembered simply as one of the great historians of the 20th century”.

The Independent on Sunday. He developed contacts with Italian left-wing academics and intellectuals in the early s, which led to him encountering the work of Antonio Gramsciwhose writings were a key influence on Hobsbawm’s work on the history of subaltern groupsemphasising their agency as well as structural factors.

Around this time he joined the Socialist Schoolboys, which he described as “de facto part of the communist movement” and sold its publication, Schulkampf School Struggle. Europe Under the Dictators — “. A History of the World, —