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Encyclopedia > Eric Hobsbawm

Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm CH (born June 9, 1917) is a British Marxist historian and author. Hobsbawm was a long-standing member of the now defunct Communist Party of Great Britain and the associated Communist Party Historians Group. He is president of Birkbeck, University of London. The Order of the Companions of Honour is a British and Commonwealth Order (decoration). ... June 9 is the 160th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (161st in leap years), with 205 days remaining. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... This article is about the occupation of studying history. ... For other uses, see Author (disambiguation). ... The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) was the largest communist party in the United Kingdom. ... A subdivision of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), from 1946-1956 the Communist Party Historians Group formed a highly influential cluster of British Marxist historians, who pioneered history from below. ... Birkbeck, University of London, sometimes referred to by its former name Birkbeck College or by the abbreviation BBK, is a College of the University of London. ...


One of Hobsbawm's interests is the development of traditions. His work is a study of their construction in the context of the nation state. He argues that many traditions are invented by national elites to justify the existence and importance of their respective nation states. For other uses, see Tradition (disambiguation). ... A social construction, social construct or social concept is an institutionalized entity or artifact in a social system invented or constructed by participants in a particular culture or society that exists because people agree to behave as if it exists, or agree to follow certain conventional rules, or behave as... A nation-state is a specific form of state, which exists to provide a sovereign territory for a particular nation, and which derives its legitimacy from that function. ... A tradition is a story or a custom that is memorized and passed down from generation to generation, originally without the need for a writing system. ...

Contents

Life

Hobsbawm (a clerical error altered his surname [1]) was born in 1917 in Alexandria, Egypt to Leopold Percy Obstbaum and Nelly Grün, both Jewish, and he grew up in Vienna and Berlin. Although they lived in German-speaking countries, his parents spoke to him and his younger sister Nancy in English. This article is about the city in Egypt. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... For other uses, see Vienna (disambiguation). ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... German language skills of European Union citizens. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


His father died in 1929, and he started working as an au pair and English tutor. Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Au pair is an anglicization of the French term au pair, which means on par or equal to and describes a young person living on an equal basis with a host family in a foreign country. ... In British, Australian, New Zealand, and some Canadian universities, a tutor is often but not always a postgraduate student or a lecturer assigned to conduct a seminar for undergraduate students, often known as a tutorial. ...


He became an orphan at age 14 upon the death of his mother. Subsequently, he and Nancy were adopted by his maternal aunt, Gretl, and paternal uncle, Sidney, who married and had a son, also named Eric. They all moved to London in 1933. For other uses, see Orphan (disambiguation). ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Dr. Hobsbawm is twice married. His first wife was Muriel Seaman, whom he married in 1943 (divorced in 1951). He remarried to Marlene Schwarz, with whom he has two children, Julia Hobsbawm and Andy Hobsbawm. He also has a son, Joshua, from a previous relationship. Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Andy Hobsbawm established the first international Internet agency in 1994 and was a founding director of leading British new media company Online Magic which merged with Agency. ...


He became a Companion of Honour in 1998. The Order of the Companions of Honour is a British and Commonwealth Order (decoration). ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ...


Politics

He joined the Socialist Schoolboys in 1931 and the Communist party in 1936. He was member of the Communist Party Historians Group from 1946 to 1956. Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about communism as a form of society and as a political movement. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... A subdivision of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), from 1946-1956 the Communist Party Historians Group formed a highly influential cluster of British Marxist historians, who pioneered history from below. ... Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A car from 1956 Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Soviet Invasion of Hungary in 1956 marked the end of the Communist Party Historian's Group and led most of its members to remove themselves from the British Communist Party. Hobsbawm, uniquely among his colleagues, remained in the Party, however, going so far as to defend the Soviet invasion of Hungary. Writing in the Daily Worker in late 1956, Hobsbawm argued that: "While approving, with a heavy heart, of what is now happening in Hungary, we should therefore also say frankly that we think the USSR should withdraw its troops from the country as soon as this is possible." (Daily Worker, 9 November 1956) Combatants Soviet Union; ÁVH (Hungarian State Security Police) Ad hoc local Hungarian militias Commanders Ivan Konev Various independent militia leaders Strength 150,000 troops, 6,000 tanks Unknown number of militia and rebelling soldiers Casualties 722 killed, 1,251 wounded[1] 2,500 killed 13,000 wounded[2] The Hungarian... In modern usage, the term communist party is generally used to identify any political party which has adopted communist ideology. ... The Daily Worker was a newspaper published by the Communist Party USA, a Comintern affiliated organization in New York, beginning in 1924. ...


Later he came to support the eurocommunist faction in the CPGB. In "The Forward March of Labour Halted", originally a Marxism Today article published in September 1978, he argued that the working class was inevitably losing its central role in society, and that Left parties could no longer appeal only to this class; a controversial viewpoint in a period of trade union militancy. Hobsbawm supported Neil Kinnock's transformation of the British Labour Party from 1983. Until the magazine's closure in 1991, he continued to contribute to Marxism Today. Eurocommunism was a new trend in the 1970s and 1980s within various Western European communist parties to develop a theory and practice of social transformation that was more relevant in a Western European democracy and less aligned to the partyline of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. ... Marxism Today was the theoretical journal of the Communist Party of Great Britain prior to its dissolution in 1991. ... The term working class is used to denote a social class. ... Neil Gordon Kinnock, Baron Kinnock, PC (born 28 March 1942) is a British politician. ... The Labour Party is a centre-left or social democratic political party in Britain (see British politics), and one of the United Kingdoms three main political parties. ... Marxism Today was the theoretical journal of the Communist Party of Great Britain prior to its dissolution in 1991. ...


Academic life

He was educated at Prinz-Heinrich-Gymnasium Berlin, St Marylebone Grammar School (now defunct) and King's College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a Ph.D. in history on the Fabian Society. He was a member of the Cambridge Apostles. A gymnasium (pronounced with or, in Swedish, as opposed to ) is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English Grammar Schools and U.S. High Schools. ... St Marylebone Grammar School (SMGS) was a grammar school in London from 1792 to 1981. ... For other uses, see Kings College. ... Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated Ph. ... The Fabian Society is a British socialist intellectual movement, whose purpose is to advance the socialist cause by gradualist and reformist, rather than revolutionary means. ... Trinity College Great Court. ...


During World War II, he served in the Royal Engineers and the Royal Army Educational Corps. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army. ... The Royal Army Educational Corps (RAEC) is tasked with educating and instructing British Army personnel in a diverse range of skills, the RAEC is now part of the Adjutant Generals Corps. ...


In 1947, he became a lecturer in history at Birkbeck College, University of London. Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1947 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Lecturer is a term of academic rank. ... This article is about the study of the past in human terms. ... Birkbeck, University of London, sometimes referred to by its former name Birkbeck College or by the abbreviation BBK, is a College of the University of London. ... Website http://www. ...


He was a visiting professor at Stanford in the 1960s. A professor is a senior teacher and researcher, usually in a college or university. ... Stanford may refer: Stanford University Places: Stanford, Kentucky Stanford, California, home of Stanford University Stanford Shopping Center Stanford, New York, town in Dutchess County. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969. ...


In 1970, he was appointed professor and in 1978 he was made a Fellow of the British Academy. Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The meaning of the word professor (Latin: [1]) varies. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... The British Academy is the United Kingdoms national academy for the humanities and the social sciences. ...


He retired in 1982 but stayed as visiting professor some months a year at The New School for Social Research in Manhattan until 1997. He is currently the president of Birkbeck, University of London and professor emeritus of The New School for Social Research's political science department. Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... The New School for Social Research is the graduate division of The New School. ... For other uses, see Manhattan (disambiguation). ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ... Birkbeck, University of London, sometimes referred to by its former name Birkbeck College or by the abbreviation BBK, is a College of the University of London. ... A professor is a senior teacher and researcher, usually in a college or university. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Political Science is the field concerning the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behaviour. ...


He speaks English, German, French, Spanish and Italian, and reads Dutch, Portuguese and Catalan. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia, and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of Sardinia. ...


Works

Hobsbawm has written extensively on many subjects as one of Britain's most prominent historians. As a Marxist historiographer he has focused on analysis of the "dual revolution" (the political French revolution and the industrial British revolution). He sees their effect as a driving force behind the predominant trend towards liberal capitalism today. Another recurring theme in his work has been social banditry, a phenomenon that Hobsbawm has tried to place within the confines of relevant societal and historical context thus countering the traditional view of it being a spontaneous and unpredictable form of primitive rebellion. Marxist or historical materialist historiography is an influential school of historiography. ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ... The liberal theory of economics is the theory of economics developed in the Enlightenment, and believed to be first fully formulated by Adam Smith. ... Social bandit is a term invented by the historian Eric Hobsbawm in his 1965 classic study of popular forms of resistance, Primitive Rebels. ...


Outside of his academic historical writing, Hobsbawm has written (under the pseudonym 'Francis Newton' – taken from the name of Billie Holiday's communist trumpet player) for the New Statesman as a jazz critic. He has numerous essays published in various intellectual journals, dealing with anything from barbarity in the modern age to the troubles of labour movements and the conflict between anarchism and communism. Billie Holiday (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), born Eleanora Fagan and later nicknamed Lady Day (see Jazz royalty regarding similar nicknames), was an American jazz singer, a seminal influence on jazz and pop singers, and generally regarded as one of the greatest female jazz vocalists. ... The New Statesman is a left-of-centre political weekly published in London. ... For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ... Look up Barbarian in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and political governments, in particular through the implementation of specific laws governing labor relations. ... Anarchist redirects here. ... This article is about the form of society and political movement. ...


His most recent publications are the autobiography, Interesting Times, and Globalisation, Democracy and Terrorism.


Controversy

Hobsbawm has attracted criticism for his support for communism. According to Robert Conquest, in an interview with Canadian cultural critic Michael Ignatieff on British television in 1994, Hobsbawm responded to the question of whether 20 million deaths may have been justified if the proposed communist utopia had been created as a consequence by saying "yes" [2]. Dr. George Robert Ackworth Conquest (born July 15, 1917), British historian, became one of the best-known writers on the Soviet Union with the publication, in 1968, of his account of Stalins purges of the 1930s, The Great Terror. ... Michael Grant Ignatieff, M.P., Ph. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... For other uses, see Utopia (disambiguation). ...


But, in his own 1994 book, The Age of Extremes he wrote that the deaths were beyond justification (page 393, ISBN 0-349-10671-1): The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991 is a book by Eric Hobsbawm, published in 1994. ...

Still, whatever assumptions are made, the number of direct and indirect victims must be measured in eight rather than seven digits. In these circumstances it does not much matter whether we opt for a 'conservative` estimate nearer to ten than to twenty millions or a larger figure: none can be anything but shameful and beyond palliation, let alone justification.

His book The Age of Extremes shows a very critical attitude both to the Russia of Stalin and Khrushchev, and to the West in the era of the Korean and Vietnam wars.


Reputation

Hobsbawm has been described as "arguably our greatest living historian -- not only Britain's, but the world's." [The Spectator, quoted on the dust jacket of The Age of Capital]


James Joll wrote in The New York Review that "Eric Hobsbawm's nineteenth century trilogy is one of the great achievements of historical writing in recent decades." [quoted on the dust jacket of The Age of Extremes]


Partial Publication list

He has written (among other things) the following books:

  • Labour's Turning Point : extracts from contemporary sources (1948)
  • Primitive Rebels : studies in archaic forms of social movement in the 19th and 20th centuries (1959)
  • The Age of Revolution : Europe 1789-1848 (1962)
  • Labouring Men : studies in the history of labour (1964)
  • Pre-Capitalist Economic Formation (1965; editor)
  • Industry and Empire (1968)
  • Bandits (1969)
  • Captain Swing (1968; with George Rude)
  • Revolutionaries : contemporary essays (1973)
  • The Age of Capital, 1848-1875 (1975)
  • The Invention of Tradition (1983; editor, with Terence Ranger)
  • Workers : worlds of labor (1985)
  • The Age of Empire (1987)
  • The Jazz Scene (1989)
  • Echoes of the Marseillaise: Two Centuries Look Back on the French Revolution (1990)
  • Nations and Nationalism since 1780 : programme, myth, reality (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990)
  • Age of Extremes : the short twentieth century, 1914-1991 (1994)
  • On History (1997)
  • Uncommon People : resistance, rebellion and jazz (1998)
  • On the Edge of the New Century (2000)
  • Interesting Times : a twentieth-century life (2002; autobiography)
  • Globalisation, Democracy and Terrorism (2007)

The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991 is a book by Eric Hobsbawm, published in 1994. ...

References

  • Campbell, J. "Towards the Great Decision: Review of the The Age of Empire" page 153 from Times Literary Supplement, Volume 4428, February 12, 1988.
  • Cronin, J. "Creating a Marxist Historiography: the Contribution of Hobsbawm" pages 87-109 from Radical History Review, Volume 19, 1979.
  • Genovese, Eugene "The Squandered Century: Review of The Age of Extremes" pages 38-43 from The New Republic, Volume 212, April 17, 1995.
  • Hampson, N. "All for the Better? Review of Echoes of the Marseillaise" page 637 from Times Literary Supplement, Volume 4550, June 15, 1990.
  • Judt, Tony "Downhill All the Way: Review of The Age of Extremes" pages 20-25 from New York Review of Books, May 25, 1995, Volume 49, Issue # 9.
  • Landes, David "The Ubiquitous Bourgeoisie: Review of The Age of Capital" pages 662-664 from Times Literary Supplement, Volume 3873, June 4, 1976.
  • McKibblin, R. "Capitalism out of Control: Review of The Age of Extremes" pages 406 from Times Literary Supplement, Volume 4778, October 28, 1994.
  • Mingay, G.E. "Review of Captain Swing" page 810 from English Historical Review, Volume 85 (337), 1970.
  • Samuel, R. and Stedman Jones, Gareth (editors) Culture, Ideology and Politics: Essays for Eric Hobsbawm, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982.
  • Seton-Watson, H. "Manufactured Mythologies: Review of The Invention of Tradition" page 1270 from Times Literary Supplement, Volume 4207, November 18, 1983.
  • Smith, P. "No Vulgar Marxist: Review of On History" page 31 from Times Literary Supplement, Volume 4917, June 27, 1997.
  • Snowman, Daniel "Eric Hobsbawm" page 16– 18 from History Today, Volume 49, Issue 1, January 1999.
  • Thane, P.; Crossick, G. & Floud, R. (editors) The Power of the Past: Essays for Eric Hobsbawm, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
  • Thane, P. & Lunbeck, E. "Interview with Eric Hobsbawm" pages 29-46 from Visions of History, edited by H. Abelove; B. Blackmar; P. Dimock & J. Schneer, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1983.
  • Weber, Eugen "What Rough Beast?" pages 285-298 from Critical Review, Volume 10, Issue # 2, 1996.
  • Wrigley, Chris "Eric Hobsbawm: an Appreciation" page 2 from Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, Volume 38, Issue #1, 1984.

is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar). ... Eugene Dominic Genovese (born May 19, 1930) was formerly a Marxist historian of the American South. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 166th day of the year (167th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ... David Landes is professor emeritus of economics and retired professor of history at Harvard University. ... is the 155th day of the year (156th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 301st day of the year (302nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Professor Gareth Stedman Jones (born 17 December 1942) is a British academic and one of the UKs foremost historians. ... is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 178th day of the year (179th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ... Eugen Weber (April 24, 1925 – ) is the coolest guy on earth and a prominent historian on the side. ...

External links

Persondata
NAME Hobsbawm, Eric John Blair
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Newton, Francis (pen name as jazz critic)
SHORT DESCRIPTION British historian; Marxist historiographer; history professor; studied French Revolution and Industrial Revolution; Communist Party of Great Britain theorist
DATE OF BIRTH June 9, 1917
PLACE OF BIRTH Alexandria, Egypt
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH

  Results from FactBites:
 
Eric Hobsbawm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1173 words)
Dr Eric John Blair Hobsbawm CH (born June 9, 1917) is a British Marxist historian and author.
Hobsbawm was a long-standing member of the now defunct Communist Party of Great Britain and the associated Communist Party Historians Group.
Hobsbawm (a clerical error altered Eric's name [1]) was born in 1917 as child of Leopold Percy Hobsbaum and Nelly Grün, both jewish, in Alexandria, Egypt, and he grew up in Vienna and Berlin.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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