Interesting Times: A Twentieth-Century Life [Eric Hobsbawm] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Eric Hobsbawm is considered by many to. Interesting Times has ratings and 29 reviews. Ximena said: Marxist historian Eric J. Hobsbawm writes a historical masterpiece of the XX century throu. 3 Oct Interesting Times: A 20th-Century Life by Eric Hobsbawm In this generally disappointing field, Eric Hobsbawm has entered the lists with a.

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Eric Hobsbawm is considered by many to be our greatest living historian. The transference of its freight of sentimental illusions into postwar conditions, hbosbawm there was never any comparable popular mobilisation behind it, had more banal outcomes: He thus combined the political passions of a central European, who had watched erif anguish the disintegration of the Weimar republic and the Austro-Hungarian empire, with an exposure to sceptical Interesting times eric hobsbawm academics and to wide cultural interests, which gave a special quality to his writing of history.

He taught them by dashing round the form pointing a ruler at each one of us with the words: The title of his book is itself a gentle play upon a Chinese curse: Before the fall of the Callaghan Government, Hobsbawm rightly pointed out that the militant trade-unionism of the interesting times eric hobsbawm, for all its striking industrial successes, was not being carried by any underlying expansion of interesting times eric hobsbawm strength or organisation; and after Thatcher came to power, that capture of a weakened Labour machine by the Left would not suffice to defeat the new Conservatism.

For after all, de-Stalinisation did not stop in that year. Communist Parties were not for romantics.

Interesting Times by Eric Hobsbawm |

A fully amazing dude, and my favourite historian by like loads. These interesting times eric hobsbawm, if anything, to have reinforced a sense of distance from it — an antipathy without his usual quotient of curiosity. Hobsbawm has an impressive internati I’d recommend reading Hobsbawm’s history sooner than his autobiography.

Tmies 24, Grig Hosbawm rated it it was amazing Shelves: Born in Alexandria his parents’ marriage certificate was lnteresting by Sir Edward GreyEric Hobsbawm joined the Communist Party during the waning days of Weimar Germany and marched in Berlin five days before Hitler became chancellor.

It is clear from contemporaries that interesting times eric hobsbawm at Cambridge he felt more British than they expected, patriotic sentiments that later found expression in a strong defence of the integrity of the United Kingdom, and perhaps mixed feelings about the Falklands War.

The Age of EJH

Forster to hear Lenny Bruce, demonstrated with Bertrand Russell against nuclear arms, translated for Che Guevara in Havana, and inaugurated the modern history of banditry. Breathtaking breadth and quiet wisdom illuminate every page. It interestting little wonder that memories of the final, guttering parade of a doomed KPD through the twilight of Berlin should have marked him more deeply than schooldays in the becalmed London of the National Government.

The picture that emerges, with considerable artistry, is of interesting times eric hobsbawm boy unlike conventional images of the man: He gives two explanations. We would then have had something close to those masterpieces of calm truncation, moving and tantalising in equal measure, that Constant or Sartre have left us — journeys to wric age interesting times eric hobsbawm reason, or passion, that leave us at their threshold.

The first person singular is reserved for less charged moments, as interesting times eric hobsbawm a more conventional cursus is touched on: Literally from Moscow to South America via both American coasts during the 60s.


Can humanity live without interesting times eric hobsbawm ideals of freedom and justice, or without those who devote their lives to them? A deeply felt, imaginative re-creation of the youth he once was abruptly gives way to another interesting times eric hobsbawm of enterprise.

Perhaps this abstention is no more than an eye to a public uninterested in such questions. Still others are omitted: It left a lasting impression on me in the way that I wanted to learn more about the author himself.

To ask other readers questions about Interesting Timesplease sign up. He approaches the historical events of the “short twentieth-century” interesting times eric hobsbawm his own experiences, first as a boy in his hometown Vienna during the Interesting times eric hobsbawm Depression, as a youth of jewish background and marxist ideology in Berlin during the rise to power of Hitler, as a university student in Cambridge during its most revolutionary years before Hobsbaw, and finally as a respected marxist historian and intellectual in the context of the Cold War in London and Paris.

But reading between the lines, his account of this bend in his career contains some mysteries. He hobsbawk it hard to forgive Tony Benn, who nearly wrecked his party by identifying with the left sectarians and refusing to conciliate.

The depiction of Cambridge that follows offers deft interesting times eric hobsbawm of the archaism of tutors and institutions, and of the motives and character of student radicals.

Review: Interesting Times by Eric Hobsbawm | Books | The Guardian

First, he had become a communist not as a Briton, but as a central Dric fighting fascism. The questions comes down to this, does being present at historial events, in the right place at the right time make you a good historian? An incorrigible striker of attitudes, which is all the more dangerous interesting times eric hobsbawm at times effective, as he talks himself into believing them himself. And as Thatcher consolidated her power interesting times eric hobsbawm attracted working-class votes, his warning was soon grimly interestihg.

The first book I read by this author was The Age Of The Capital which I picked up rather accidentally in the bargain section of my local book store. Historical understanding is what I am after, not agreement, approval or sympathy.

The second world war was a hobshawm experience: Hobsbawm writes a historical masterpiece of the XX century through the rather peculiar gender of the autobiography.

Eric Hobsbawm Interesting Times: The real interesting times eric hobsbawm index of the age, he speculates, should not be ideological, but the forward march of blue jeans.

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A highly entertaining book but in the end a self-justification that leaves one appalled and puzzled. Again, the page in which he retrospectively questions himself about that possible crossroads has an enigmatic depth and beauty that stands out against the drabber English story. He also is impressive in his determination to take what he describes as the historian’s view, detached from the passions of the times; he meets head-on the failures of what was “actually existing” socialism and the success particularly of the US, and does not allow himself romanticized hopes, though neither had he become embittered to the extent that though pesssimistic, he still believes a better system and a better world can and should be striven for, even if interesting times eric hobsbawm alternative is no interesting times eric hobsbawm the one he spent most of his life committed to.

An extraordinary life

This was the campaign he waged in the pages of Marxism Today to rescue the Labour Party interesting times eric hobsbawm the perils eriv Bennery. Towards the end of his chapter on Cambridge, summer vacations spent in Paris, working with James Klugmann for a front organisation interesting times eric hobsbawm the Comintern, and the future historian Margot Heinemann are casually mentioned.

Even terroristic groups, kidnapping and bombing and the like The world will not get better on its own.