Past in Perspective

“Every historian has his or her lifetime, a private perch from which to survey the world. My own perch is constructed, among other materials, of a childhood in the Vienna of the 1920s, the years of the Hitler’s rise in Berlin, which determined my politics and my interest in history, and the England, and especially the Cambridge, of the 1930s, which confirmed both.”

–Eric Hobsbawm


Eric Hobsbawm was the most eminent
Marxist historian of the Britain.


Eric Hobsbawm was the most distinguished and respected British historian. Hobsbawm was born on June 9, 1917 in Alexandria, Egypt. He was a British historian of the rise of industrial capitalism, socialism and nationalism. He was a member of British Communist Party. His compatriots in the party included many other notable historians, i.e., Christopher Hill, E.P. Thompson and Raymond Williams. Yet he was the leading light of the group of historians who were the members of the party. Mr Hobsbawm through his writings rejected the traditional understanding of history, which sees history as a series of great events made, led or instigated by great men.

He is well known for his explanation of 19th century that he does in three volumes under the titles; The Age of Revolution, The Age of Capital, and The Age of Empire. However, unable to resist recording the events of the 20th century he added another volume, The Age of Extremes. Thus the series is four-volume history of the 19th and 20th century. The Marxist historian passed away on October 1, 2012. He has left behind a superb body of work that explains and criticizes the development of capitalism. To comprehend the tumultuous times we are living in, revisiting his works can help the scholars and students alike.


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