Eric Hobsbawm's AGE OF EXTREMES was a remarkable phenomenon, a book of serious and challenging historical analysis that became a worldwide bestseller. Now, THE NEW CENTURY continues Hobsbawm's analysis of our twentieth century, asking crucial questions about our inheritance from the century of conflict and its meanings for the years to come. Looking back over the last decade to learn something of the new era, Hobsbawm finds the distinction between internal and international conflicts and between state of war and state of peace disappearing. He goes on to analyse the crisis of the multi-ethnic state and shows the distortions of history involved in the creation of its myths. He expresses his anxiety over the system of international relations between states that have so far ruled by colonialism and nuclear terror. Hobsbawm then assesses the impact that a popular global culture has had on every aspect of life, from happiness and social hierarchy to nutrition and the environment. Published this year in dozens of countries throughout the world, THE NEW CENTURY is a concise summary of the thinking of one of the pre-eminent historians.
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(198mm x 128mm x 11mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
This slight but lucid volume has everybody's favorite Marxist historian (apologies to E P Thompson, who left the party early) holding forth on the state of the world and the future of mankind with characteristic common sense (some of it common enough to be obvious), occasional profundity and the wilful obscuration that comes with Hobsbawm's politics. Chapters on war and peace, globalization and the decline of empire produce a cosy, familiar feeling, a bit like comfort food - no significant light is shed on the subjects but we can nod in broad agreement. The best is saved for last. In a chapter entitled 'Hopes for the Future' Hobsbawm talks honestly, even movingly, about his membership of the Communist Party and the dilemma he faced, in common with other Marxist intellectuals, coming to terms with Stalinism. At least he has the decency not to shirk the issue or pretend, as others in the Left now do, that Soviet Russia had nothing to do with communism. Instead, he points out the responsibilities of a revolutionary historian and presents a balance sheet of the Soviet Union's achievements alongside her darkest deeds. It is here, at his most personal, that he proves his real worth as an historian. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Eric Hobsbawm
Eric Hobsbawm was born in Alexandria in 1917 and educated in Vienna, Berlin, London, and Cambridge. A fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he taught until retirement at Birkbeck College, University of London, and since then at the New School for Social Research in New York.