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Eric Hobsbawm (1917–2012)

Författare till Ytterligheternas tidsålder : det korta 1900-talet : 1914-1991

120+ verk 15,877 medlemmar 134 recensioner 37 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Eric Hobsbawm is a neo-Marxist historian of the Industrial Revolution who pays particular attention to the inequities toward the lower classes, especially in law and politics. (Bowker Author Biography)


Verk av Eric Hobsbawm

Revolutionens tidsålder (1962) 2,393 exemplar
Imperiernas tidsålder (1987) 1,742 exemplar
Kapitalets tidsålder (1975) — Författare — 1,725 exemplar
Massproducerade traditioner (1983) — Redaktör — 885 exemplar
Nationer och nationalism (1990) 840 exemplar
Om historia (1997) 534 exemplar
Banditerna (1969) 447 exemplar
How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism (2011) — Författare — 362 exemplar
On the Edge of the New Century (2000) 359 exemplar
Revolutionaries (1973) 283 exemplar
Captain Swing (1968) 237 exemplar
The Jazz Scene (1960) 125 exemplar
Workers: Worlds of Labor (1984) 75 exemplar
The French Revolution (1995) 48 exemplar
Trilogía Hobsbawm (2012) 31 exemplar
On Nationalism (2021) 24 exemplar
Guerra y paz en el siglo XXI (2007) 13 exemplar
History of Marxism, v. 3 (1997) 11 exemplar
History of Marxism, v.4 (1978) 8 exemplar
Marx et l'Histoire (2010) 7 exemplar
Sobre el nacionalismo (2021) 7 exemplar
Historia del marxismo (1979) 7 exemplar
La fine dello Stato (2007) 6 exemplar
Imperialismi (2007) 5 exemplar
Tuhaf Zamanlar (2006) 3 exemplar
Guerra y paz en el siglo XXI (2012) 3 exemplar
Historia del marxismo. 1 (1979) 3 exemplar
Histoire économique et sociale de la Grande-Bretagne (0197) — Författare — 3 exemplar
Historia do Marxismo 5 (1984) 2 exemplar
El Optimismo de la Voluntad (2003) 2 exemplar
Eskiyalar (2011) 1 exemplar
Tarih Uzerine (2009) 1 exemplar
Tarih Üzerine 1 exemplar
Historia del marxismo (1980) 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

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Aspects of history and class consciousness (1971) — Bidragsgivare — 33 exemplar
Dispatches from the Revolution: Russia 1916-1918 (1997) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor20 exemplar
The Standard of living in Britain in the Industrial Revolution (1975) — Bidragsgivare — 10 exemplar
Essays in labour history (1960) — Bidragsgivare — 9 exemplar
The Analog Sea Review: Number Four (2022) — Bidragsgivare — 2 exemplar
The Power of the past : essays for Eric Hobsbawm (1984) — Honoree — 2 exemplar
Welsh history review, vol. 8, no. 1, June 1976 (1976) — Reviewer — 2 exemplar


Allmänna fakta



Third in Hobsbawm's series about the history of the modern world, the period covered here is from the latter part of the 19th century up to the outbreak of the Great War.
As indicated by the title, this was the era in which the dominance of Britain broke down and a number of peers engaged in imperialist competition, building their own empires. The upshot was the end to both free trade and the dominance of liberalism, replaced by protectionism in economics and increasingly facing both nationalism and socialism in the political sphere as political democracy gained ground. All of this was obviously central to the outbreak of the war - a major turning point in world history.
The first half of the period saw a deep depression for world capitalism, paradoxically leading to an accelerated increase in living standards. This was succeeded by what has been regarded as the "Belle Epoque" - mainly by elites - where their profits returned.
Much of this was new to me and I learned a lot - but this time I felt that things began to drag a little as Hobsbawm switched from the economic to social sphere - dealing with changes for women, in philosophy, in science and so forth. Additionally as we move towards the Russian Revolution, the authors biases are obvious - in what he does not say as much as what he does. This stuff is of more interest from the point of view of historiography than of history. And when I get to the last volume which covers the bulk of the 20th century, I suspect that will be my general feeling on that as well.
… (mer)
mmcgahon82 | 7 andra recensioner | Nov 22, 2023 |
"The Duke of Wellington later boasted of having hunted down Hampshire rioters like game or cattle:

I induced the magistrates to put themselves on horseback, each at the head of his own servants and retainers, grooms, huntsmen, game keepers, armed with horsewhips, pistols, fowling pieces and what they could get and to attack, in concert, if necessary, or singly, those mobs, disperse them, and take and put in confinement those who could not escape. This was done in a spirited manner, in many instances, and it is astonishing how soon the country was tranquillised, and that in the best way, by the activity and spirit of gentlemen"

Lord Melbourne said:

"[Threshing] machines are as much entitled to the Protection of the Law as any other Description of Property and... the course which has been taken of prescribing or recommending the Discontinuance of them is, in fact, to connive at, or rather to assist in the Establishment of a Tyranny of the most oppressive Character"

paints a really clear and depressing picture of the sufferings of the agricultural labourer by 1830 through a combination of higher prices, enclosed common land, a drive to rationalise and economise on the part of the farmers, the stripping of customary rights, the moving of wages onto a weekly, daily or even hourly payment.

talks about how many of the rebels still believed in higher authority and thought that the king and parliament might be on their side against their problems and local gentry. their demands were generally for restoration of rights and never went as radical as demands for land. they also made use of traditional rituals and were often part revel, including requests for the rich to give money which was twisted into "extortion" by prosecutors.

it's funny also how there was a desperate search for agitators to explain the revolt rather than looking at the actual awful conditions experienced which made people rise up independently

the poor law which subsidised wages is shown as contributing by making employers pay next to nothing and forcing labourers into only having whatever subsistence wages the gentry thought best, which was usually tiny.

Probably the big thing about this book is it's very focused on using statistics and describing specific incidents - it's not a "narrative" history. It's divided into
- a section describing the economic and social conditions of labourers in the years leading up to 1830 along with a potted history
- a section that describes the spread of the riots in each region and each incident that happened on what date
- an analysis of what factors correlated with riots, what social classes were on which side, who was responsible for things like arsons, machine breakings and the threatening Swing letters
- a section detailing what sort of repression was involved, the punishments meted out, what happened to those transported to Australia, and what the aftermath was

One of the interesting things is how often farmers stood tentatively on the side of the farm labourers, trying to turn their demands into attacks on rents/taxes/tithes, sometimes directly supporting attacks on the clergy in their homes. It's also mentioned that many farmers were happy for the general smashing of machines - threshing machines were expensive with a small increase in profitability and made the poor rates more expensive for everyone because of the reduction in labour yet it was hard to stop their use because 1 single farmer might gain an advantage from it, so stopping any voluntary agreement. It's very Marx-like. The generalised smashing of the machines provided a neat solution.

There is a LOT of data given and attempted analysis of it, although the analysis feels pretty limited? They admit in the introduction that they couldn't do as much as they wanted, if only for manpower reasons because there's so much to sift through for even parts of counties, and it was written in 1969 so obviously there was far less access to data analysis tools etc. It'd be very interesting to read something that also was aimed at an audience like this one that took the data much further. The data is definitely interesting, just harder to make something of when there's so much of it and not necessarily always in the most useful form.

Still, there's enough narrative to make sense of it all - there's no attempt to like "liven it up" but the details of the specific events mentioned are often really interesting and fascinating and give it depth/character because these are often named people with some details about their lives. Reading details of people from Kintbury confronting the local grandees is inspiring - one of the leaders says

You and the gentleman have been living upon all the good things for the last ten years. We have suffered enough, and now is our time, and we will now have it. You only speak to us now because you are afraid and intimidated

The section on Australia provides some interesting detail about how the transportation system worked, although it's a bit too heavy on just dates and numbers for me. The conclusion is interesting - suggesting that the rebellions pushed forward the reform act through the fear by the ruling classes that a link up between the countryside and towns could cause a revolution. The labourers were also very effective at stopping the use of machines, destroying more than the Luddies and stopping their use for decades. They conclude that the rioters were far more powerful than most have given them credit for, just hamstrung by their own inhibitions and lack of better organisation. They make a convincing argument for looking again at the countryside in history as a source of discontent and rebellious activity when it has too often been ignored for just the towns - with history drawing a complete veil over country life for the average person.

One thing I'll complain about - they say that some people have seen it as accelerating "the decline of their class into that slow moving, ox like, passive and demoralized mass, a sort of native southern Negro community, which was all that so many of their Victorian superiors saw in the English villages". Even though it's partially describing other people's views, it still talks about race in what is to me a pretty crappy way and it glosses over the long history of slave revolts in the USA, which is crappy/racist and also a shame in a book looking at another group of people often presented as passive.

Still, overall it's a great book about an interesting and little-talked about topic that deserves more attention. Apologies for any incoherence
… (mer)
tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
The preface/introduction explicitly says that it's going to be a Eurocentric book focusing on France and Britain. Which is fair enough, although the title is a little dishonest - he only has limited space to cover an era of massive change and even though it's very disappointing not to see much about the rest of the world it's not surprising and at least it covers some stuff more in depth.

However, there's no excuse for stuff like this:

"There is much to be said for the enlightened and systematic despotism of the utilitarian bureaucrats who built the British raj in this period. They brought peace, much development of public services, administrative efficiency, reliable law, and incorrupt government at the higher levels. But economically they failed in the most sensational manner. Of all the territories under the administration of European governments, or governments of the European type, even including Tsarist Russia, India continued to be haunted by the most gigantic and murderous famines; perhaps—though statistics are lacking for the earlier period—increasingly so as the century wore on."

Praise for the British Raj in such terms is bad enough from a Marxist historian, but to put the praise and the fact of the atrocious famines they oversaw together makes it baffling. Surely this'd be a chance to point out the way the famines and the government were part of Britain profiting off Indian exploitation? But he doesn't go further. Kind of disconcerting.

However, I've rated 4 stars because 1) i feel this sort of thing is very hard to avoid in history books, and there's very little other unpleasant opinion in the book 2) keeping in mine the above biases, it's a really good overview of the period. Tries to cover general political history, scientific history, art history, economic history - obviously it does none comprehensively but it gives you a really good idea of where Europe particularly was at in the period and what sort of forces and ideas were involved in the changes that happened and makes me really want to learn more. Also seques perfectly into his next book, heh.

ooh also he wears his Marxism on his sleeve but there's no political polemic, it's just clear which biases inform his views

one small annoyance: quoting French, German etc without a translation. kind of useless for a lot of people

oh also someone just pointed out how little he talks about the haitian revolution, which is kind of a big thing to miss out - his Eurocentricism is really noticeable with stuff like that
… (mer)
tombomp | 27 andra recensioner | Oct 31, 2023 |
If you know nothing of your own and recent times, might be a place to start ,but not ideal as there is so much detail, and diversions into non-central themes (faraway countries, cultural matters). the elephant in the room is really Stalin and the whole communist Russia phenomenon. marxism gets it mentions but more in the way of debate and in-party manovereing, rather than assassinations, imprisonings and the long arm of the dictator. Did not finish as it is a big fat book and tells me little that is new..… (mer)
vguy | 33 andra recensioner | May 28, 2023 |



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