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This magisterial volume follows the death of ancient traditions, the triumph of new classes, and the emergence of new technologies, sciences, and ideologies, with vast intellectual daring and aphoristic elegance. Part of Eric Hobsbawm's epic four-volume history of the modern world, along with The Age of Capitalism, The Age of Empire, and The Age of Extremes....

Title : The Age of Revolution, 1789-1848
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ISBN : 9780679772538
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Age of Revolution, 1789-1848 Reviews

  • Nikos Tsentemeidis
    2018-09-28 14:04

    Εξαιρετικός ο Hobsbawm. Ειδικά για κάποιον που δεν έχει σπουδάσει ιστορία, μαθαίνει πολλά. Μια πολύ καλή περιληπτική εικόνα της εποχής 1789-1848, της Γαλλικής και της Βιομηχανικής επανάστασης, των πολέμων, της ειρήνης, της εκβιομηχάνισης, των γραμμάτων, των τεχνών, της κοινωνικής προόδου κτλ. Σπουδαίο βιβλίο, το πρώτο της τετραλογίας. Έχω διαβάσει και το δεύτερο της σειράς, Η εποχή του κεφαλαίου και τα θεωρώ απαραίτητη γνώση για όλους.

  • AC
    2018-10-14 21:49

    Having read this first in 2011, I decided to read it again. I've learned a fair bit about the period since then, and so better appreciate the virtues and limits of this volume. It contains a great deal of condensed analysis - hence it is rich, but often dry. It is also very British -- not only in its writing, but in its focus and biases. For all his Marxism, Hobsbawm was very much a bourgeois Brit. There is also the business of Hobsbawm's defense of Stalinism. This is a very interesting clip - an interview with Michael Ignatieff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnd2P...To rate it now is to give it 4-stars. (Hard to imagine a better, more thoughtful, more thoroughly digested and original survey of a period which I wanted and needed to know much more about.)

  • tom bomp
    2018-09-27 22:10

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

  • Will
    2018-10-15 21:00

    This book is, I'm sure, an informative introduction to the interesting period between the first and second French Revolutions. But it reads like a lecture, which is to say, it goes for narrative at the expense of detail. The narrative is an interesting one, and Hobsbawm is evidently jumping-up-and-down thrilled to be sharing it with us, but I had hoped to learn more specifics.For instance, there is a section on the arts in which the author asserts that artists of the early 18th century were typically committed to revolutionary politics, noting such examples as Beethoven, Goethe, and Percy Shelley (he might have included Stendhal as well). But he ignores the reactionary politics of others like Chateaubriand and Flaubert, and fails to tell us that these political commitments were often of a temporary nature. Most damningly, we read that Dostoyevski was incarcerated for his involvement. That's true enough, but it seems rather more important to me that the mature Dostoyevski denounced his earlier activities and wrote books denouncing revolutionaries as dangerous dreamers. This is the way in which Hobsbawm's "big picture" approach can distort the facts in order to fit them into the story.Another disappointment is that the narrative largely ignores radical reformers prior to Marx and Engels. Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Thomas Paine, Olympe de Gouge, William Thompson, Thomas Hodgeskin, John Francis Bray, Goodwyn Barmby, and Ludwig Feuerbach receive no mention (though the Saint-Simonists and the utopians do receive their due). In eliding these figures from the account, the author misses the fascinating story of how the ideas of Locke, Rousseau, and the early economists developed, within decades of the French Revolution, into nearly all the critiques of social conditions that remain relevant to this day.Another issue is that the account of the French Revolution does not dwell enough on the value of the Assignat during the turmoil, and the crucial role that this issue had in sustaining support for the Terror.But I'm being insufficiently complimentary, probably -- I can only complain so much that Hobsbawm did not write the book that I would have written. He has nonetheless assembled a lot of information, and dispenses it ably. The book is a useful introduction to the subject.

  • Sotiris Karaiskos
    2018-10-12 15:12

    Άλλη μία από τις αναγνωστικές παραλείψεις μου αυτό εδώ το βιβλίο. Ήθελα, βέβαια, να το διαβάσω αλλά λίγο δίσταζα φοβούμενος μήπως πρόκειται για κάτι "βαρύ" που απευθύνεται περισσότερο σε ειδικούς. Τελικά αφού το διάβασα διαπίστωσα ότι αν και δεν είναι ένα συμβατικό ιστορικό έργο και σίγουρα είναι αρκετά περίπλοκο και απαιτεί ο αναγνώστης να έχει κάποιες βασικές γνώσεις, στην πραγματικότητα είναι κάτι αρκετά κατανοητό που αναλύει με σαφή τρόπο από πολιτική σκοπιά όλα αυτά που συνέβησαν σε αυτήν τη χρονική περίοδο με την οποία ασχολείται. Μπορώ, δηλαδή, να επιβεβαιώσω αυτό που πιστεύουν πολλοί ότι πρόκειται για ένα από τα σπουδαιότερα ιστορικά βιβλία που γράφτηκαν ποτέ.

  • Jonfaith
    2018-10-15 16:11

    The gods and kings of the past were powerless before the businessmen and steam-engines of the present.Hobsbawm's survey of these twin explosions (French revolution, Industrial revolution) is a much more melodious affair than I had imagined. The material is addressed in an almost symphonic manner: capitalism and its counterpoint. The teetering aristocracy sees France go bankrupt defending our wee American democracy. The involvement of moderates is crucial as they alone weren't burdened with the legacies of the French Revoluitonary excesses: all subsequent revolutions pause at this point, considering the penchant for Terror. Discontent and technological advances chart a new course and the question soon enough becomes, what to do with the surplus population? This largely the story of Britain and France. Greater Europe becomes central to the text with the arrival of Napoleon. Asia and the USA don't feature much and the rest of world hardly at all.

  • Hadrian
    2018-10-17 17:51

    I was referring to a few chapters of this tonight for something else when I remembered how excellent Hobsbawm really was. His writing is profound and precise. His biases are pronounced, but his method is still so valuable that most of social history today follows after him.

  • Jorge
    2018-10-19 16:06

    A veces la única forma de asimilar todo cuanto sucede o todo cuanto haya sucedido en el mundo sólo se puede dar cuando lo vemos plasmado “blanco sobre negro”, es decir, sobre un papel donde una sabia pluma actúa como guía y es solamente entonces cuando lo procesamos y asimilamos en toda su dimensión. Sin duda para mí este ha sido el caso al leer este libro. El análisis que hace Eric Hobsbawm acerca de la génesis y consecuencias que trajo consigo la “doble revolución”, refiriéndose con este término a la Revolución Francesa y a la Industrial, me ha proporcionado una nueva visión de lo que es el mundo actualmente o más bien he podido comprender un poco más los caminos que ha tomado la humanidad para llegar al estado de cosas actual. Sin duda se trata de un libro muy valioso, escrito por un reconocido intelectual e historiador inglés contemporáneo quien murió recientemente en el año 2012. Sin embargo pienso que el análisis que hace está destinado a un grupo de lectores con ciertos conocimientos del tema o por lo menos con un grado de familiaridad sobre algunos términos y hechos que el autor trae a la palestra una y otra vez con gran soltura. Aunado a lo anterior, considero que su estilo de redacción es letrado, incluso erudito, caracterizado por frases largas, muy largas que desparraman ideas y conocimientos brillantes aquí y allá y que a veces se nos vienen como un torbellino. El tema principal del libro es expuesto por Hobsbawm a través de sus vastos conocimientos en la materia mismos que desarrolla brillantemente durante su exposición de cómo la Revolución Francesa y la Revolución Industrial marcaron el destino de la civilización actual. A partir de entonces y de manera exponencial el mundo observa una dinámica totalmente diferente en todos sentidos cuyo embrión y fuerza fueron estos acontecimientos.Las ideas que expone el autor son densas y profundas, desarrolladas prolijamente a lo largo y ancho de cada página, lo que hace que de entrada visualmente se haga pesada la lectura al no haber divisiones de párrafos o separaciones importantes que nos permitan un descanso a nuestro atribulado entendimiento que se esfuerza de manera titánica por asimilar todos los asertos que nos proporcionan los amplísimos conocimientos de Eric Hobsbawm. El libro por momentos se vuelve pesado y hasta extenuante y nos requiere un esfuerzo mental constante. Creo que no fue un libro para mí, sin embargo reconozco en todo lo que vale los conocimientos del autor de los cuales pude aprender algo y llegar a comprender un poquito más el desarrollo del mundo hasta nuestra época actual. Me permitió entender ciertos eventos y valorar sus consecuencias. Se trata de un análisis lleno de congruencia, cohesión y minuciosidad que seguramente lo disfrutarán aún más los iniciados en el tema.En un sólo párrafo el autor te puede hacer viajar de Francia a Inglaterra y de ahí a Bélgica, para pasar de inmediato a Brasil o Serbia, tocando temas casi simultáneamente de política, economía, producción textil, artes, geología, religión y otros. Todo esto adosado y sustentado con cifras y citas.Su documentado y prolijo análisis nos provee de innumerables datos y minuciosos detalles que, en mi caso, al no conocer el contexto en su totalidad no me permitió contrastarlos adecuadamente, lo que finalmente me llevó a no poder dimensionar en su real valía el libro. Esta obra forma parte de un todo conformado por 4 tomos que analiza la historia del mundo hasta el siglo XX. Este volumen comprende del año 1789 al 1848. Como reflexión podemos mencionar, no sin que se nos contraiga el corazón, que la historia nos reitera cuál es la estrella que gobierna los destinos del ser humano en lo individual y por lo tanto en la sociedad: el interés personal. Y más aún se nos contrae el corazón al reflexionar sobre los arduos y azarosos caminos que ha recorrido la humanidad para tratar de allanar el camino en favor de una mayor igualdad, situación que no sólo no se ha logrado sino que ha profundizado las brechas de inequidad. Esos caminos están llenos de dolor, explotación y humillación para los oprimidos.Por otra parte el autor analiza cómo de esos caminos surgió una clase capitalista que explota al proletariado de manera inhumana y que además, esa clase capitalista, se arroga el derecho de gobernar al mundo. Parece ser algo inevitable; o es la Monarquía o son los grandes capitalistas, o los líderes socialistas y su grupo quienes serán los opresores de la humanidad. La forma de oprimir al pueblo cambia de forma y de nombre. Los grandes excedentes de dinero producidos por las ganancias de la industrialización crearon una clase capitalista que a su vez tuvo su contrapartida en una población pobre y cada vez más hambrienta y en mayor número. Pero en fin, el libro no nos habla únicamente de economía y política ya que Eric Hobsbawm abarca espléndidamente todos los campos del conocimiento y actividad humana, así como su desarrollo y consecuencias para la humanidad en artes, ciencias, religión, movimientos obreros, agricultura, etc. Una de Las grandes lecciones que me llevo de esta colosal obra es que sin duda la historia es una sucesión lógica de hechos, factores y consecuencias, tan lógica en su materialización que no somos capaces de advertirla con algo de anticipación.

  • Shane
    2018-09-29 19:53

    This three part series by Eric Hobsbawm is indispensable for understanding the modern world. After having read these three books, and this one in particular, I see my former self as so innocent and provincial. How could I have gone through life without understanding the industrial revolution and its interplay with the French Revolution, or European reaction, or the Napoleonic wars, or the revolutions throughout the first part of the 19th century, or the onset of imperialism, or how all of those things impacted art and science? Hobsbawm can have a be a bit too much of a Marxist view of history for me at times, but overall, I'd say these three books are the most important history books I've ever read.

  • howl of minerva
    2018-10-02 20:03

    Changed the way I see the modern world.

  • Jorge
    2018-10-14 15:17

    En este libro, Hobsbawm, hace un muy letrado análisis y contextualización del período 1789-1848. El nacimiento de la Modernidad, del Estado Nación Moderno, del intercambio internacional -como lo conocemos hoy, aunque a pequeña escala-, de las instituciones burguesas de reglamentación y sistematización, etc.Este libro no cuenta con una narración cronológica de los hechos, sino con una disgregación de las materias a analizar para hacerlas más simples. En su primera parte, de las causas y algunas características del período, y en el segundo las consecuencias de estas. En ese sentido, la ausencia de un análisis sobre los ejércitos nacionales Europeos -del cual I. Wallerstein nos iluminará en "El Estado Absolutista"-, es la única carencia que me puedo imaginar.Al respecto del libro, Hobsbawm relata magistralmente -e impregna en el lector- su tesis que la modernidad es el resultado de un doble proceso revolucionario, la revolución política-Francesa y la revolución industrial-Británica. Ambas, tanto indivisibles entre si, abrirán el camino para las revoluciones definitivas, la revolución de 1848 -que enterrará el Antiguo Régimen- y el colonialismo del siglo XIX -que determinará la división del trabajo internacional-. Por supuesto que todo comprendido desde el análisis de clase -vamos, que Hobsbawm era un reconocido Marxista-.En síntesis, aun a más de 50 años de escrita esta historia de Europa y del nacimiento de la Modernidad, la prosa de Hobsbawm es refrescante (aunque a veces un poco enciclopédica -por eso las 4 estrellas-), y en especial, su tesis y su relato son congruentes y sublimes para la comprensión del sistema económico, de su construcción y expansión por el mundo, y en especial, para un análisis de los procesos revolucionarios que formaron la Europa del siglo XIX y al sujeto histórico de la modernidad.

  • Malcolm
    2018-10-08 15:04

    Although it is nearly 50 years since this was first published it remains one of the superb histories of the modern age, tracing social, economic, political, cultural and economic developments and influences of the Industrial and French Revolutions – that is, the making of the bourgeois world. Hobsbawm's grasp of the big picture is rigorous and allows the reader to both grasp the broad patterns and trends, as well as much of the detail. The book's Eurocentrism is consistent with its time, although in Hobsbawm's defence Europe was, at the time, the motive force of history. Central to our understanding of the text, and to Hobsbawm’s argument, is his deep-rooted materialist case – that political, social and cultural developments are grounded in economic transformations, but this is not a crude materialism but a genuinely Marxist one that grants social forces agency and the ability to make their own history: as Marx notes, people make their own history, but we are not free to make it as we choose. It is nearly 30 years since I first read this and it retains its power, its awe inspiring synthesis, and fully deserves its status as one of the classics of modern history (although it is disturbing that this edition includes praise for Hobsbawm from the terribly conservative Spectator, calling his one of the world’s greatest living historians).

  • Andrew
    2018-10-18 16:54

    I've done the last two volumes of Hobsbawm's tetralogy, and figured I'd start at the beginning, when, arguably, Hobsbawm was at his most Marxist. An excellent introduction of how we got from the ideas of 17th Century England and 18th Century France to the revolutionary fervor of the early 19th Century (which, too often, was more fervor than actual revolutionary thought), and how we became an industrialized species. While Hobsbawm has his missteps (as any interpolator of history will), it's still vital, left-wing history, that while it is appreciative of the gains achieved by what a great many orthodox Marxists would call "bourgeois insurrections" or something similar, is not afraid to call out their very bourgeois-ness.

  • Lamia Al-Qahtani
    2018-09-24 22:01

    الكتاب يتكلم عن الثورة الفرنسية ومعاصرتها الثورة الصناعية البريطانية والظروف التي أدت لهما وشكل أوروبا في ذلك العصر لفهم الظروف السياسية والاجتماعية والثقافية والاقتصادية التي أدت إلى الثورة وتأثيرها على أوروبا بشكل خاص وعلى الدول الأخرى الخاضعة للتأثيرات الأوروبية وتلك الواقعة تحت الاستعمار الأوروبي والقوى الأخرى مثل الامبراطورية الصينية والولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، والكتاب هو محاولة فهم وتحليل وليس تأريخ لذلك يفضل أن يكون لدى القارئ إلمام بسيط بالثورة الفرنسية حتى يستوعب التحليل بشكل أفضل، كما أحب الإشادة بالترجمة وشرح المصطلحات في آخر الكتاب.

  • Shane Avery
    2018-10-10 14:54

    E.J. Hobsbawm argues that the French Revolution and the British Industrial Revolution transformed the world in unprecedented ways. This “Dual Revolution,” argues Hobsbawm, established the parameters for European hegemony. The socio-economic structure of Europe in 1848 looked completely different from that of 1789. Although they followed different trajectories, bourgeois liberalism lay at the heart of both.To begin with, Britain was the first country in the world to industrialize, in part because its political system was already geared to the ideals of economic expansion and private profit. Britain’s economy changed in fundamental ways as it gradually moved away from peasant agrarianism: this entailed the abolition of lands held in common (notably through Enclosure Acts), the rise of a non-agrarian and non-skilled workforce, and explosive urbanization. By the time Britain’s economy achieved “self-sustained growth” (45) at some point during the 1780s, its economy was already fully committed to the world-market. This marks the first time in world history that a nation’s export market triumphed over its domestic market. (53) The explosion of capital, made possible by the monumental growth of the cotton industry, in turn allowed for the astronomic expansion of iron, steal, coal, and railways. The transition to industrial capitalism was exceptionally hard on “the labouring poor,” inasmuch as it completely transformed their traditional cosmology.For its part, the French Revolution provided the world with a vocabulary of bourgeois liberalism. Hobsbawm understands the Revolution as a class struggle between --and among-- aristocrats, the middle classes, and the peasants. It would be anachronistic, perhaps, given the absence of class consciousness, to speak of a bourgeoisie and proletariat in 1789. It is clear, however, that the different stages of the French Revolution reflect the impending struggle between liberalism and socialism. What began as the aristocratic attempt to recapture the state quickly evolved into the attempt by the middle classes to create “a secular state with civil liberties and guarantees for private enterprise, andgovernment by tax-payers and property-owners.” (81) The most radical years of the Revolution (1792-94), conducted by the sans-culottes and Jacobins, scared the bourgeoisie and helped solidify middle-class interests. From Thermidor forward, we can understand French history in terms of maintaining a balance between the dangers of radicalism and returning to the extremes of the old regime. Napoleon’s military projects contributed to the institutionalization of bourgeois ideals -- in Marxist terms, he created a bourgeois superstructure, the political geography of the “characteristic modern state” (113) with its concomitants international financing and long-term investment in the capital goods industries.Hobsbawm also surveys the effects the Dual Revolution had on: the rise of nationalism; the commodification of land; the abolition of social privileges; the rise the proletariat as a political entity; religious and secular ideologies; science; and the arts. Tying all these things together, it seems, is the dialectical idea that the triumph of bourgeois liberalism also contained the seeds of its subversion. The rationalism of the enlightenment, and its belief in the progress of civilization, did not find its ultimate expression in the theories of Adam Smith, who believed that “the exchange of equivalents in the market somehow assured social justice.” (287) Recognizing the fundamental flaws within capitalism, utopian socialists offered alternative visions. Owen, Saint Simon, and Engels all embraced the idea that man is a communal being, not a commodity whose utility can be measured in the market place. The social experiments of Owen and Fourier reflect not so much the repudiation of industrial development, as they do to a commitment to a more humanitarian form of economic development. Thus “the period of the dual revolution saw both the triumph and the most elaborate formulation of the middle-class liberal and petty bourgeois radical ideologies, and their disintegration under the impact of the states and societies they had themselves set out to create . . .” (298)

  • Juan
    2018-10-08 21:08

    This book was both challenging and very interesting, not only because it deals with an immensely dense and troublesome era, but because of the way it is dealt with: in an structured manner and with the sensible rigorousness only a great historian like E. Hobsbawn is able to achieve.You should know upfront that this is not an easy book, mainly because it is about things that are definitely not easy, but especially because writing history is not an easy thing. Listing facts is easy, but working out the relations between them and laying them out for the reader is hard. The process involves a lot of going back and forward, and that’s where the structure of the book is really helpful, for it makes it easier to focus and draw relations for the reader. This book is really well structured, and that is a plus, a big one. On the other hand, the narration of the book is far from great. I wouldn’t say it is bad, but it definitely could be better. Long and sometimes complicated sentences are the main problem. I must warn the reader that some previous knowledge (not too much, but definitely some) is required, otherwise the long sentences will be intolerable and you may find yourself constantly stopping your reading to search for a term or a name; a terrible reading experience. Even if you already know more than a thing about the theme you will most certainly feel the necessity to find out more about an opera, a book or an author cited in the book. This book is more about the how than the what; it will show you the bigger picture of the 1789 – 1848 era in the light of the French and the Industrial revolutions. It is a challenging image and you will see as much as you really want to see.

  • Said Abuzeineh
    2018-09-22 17:58

    هذا كتاب لا غناء لمضطلع بمعرفة لحظة التحول الخطيرة في تاريخ البشرية، تلك التي سلمت مشعل الحضارة ومقادة التاريخ الأمة الأوروبية إلى وقتنا، وتلتها فيما بعد تغيرات اجتماعية عامة في الجغرافيا والسكان وفي الفكر والفن والعلوم .. وكاتبه هو المؤرخ اليهودي الشهير إريك هوبزباوم الذي عكف على دراسة التاريخ الأوروبي بمراحله هذه بهدف وصف مساروصفا يشعر بهذه التغييرات.. ويتبع هذا الكتاب ثلاثة كتب أخرى تسبر التاريخ الأوروبي حتى الحربين العالميتين .. يهدي هوبزباوم كتابه هذا إلى " المواطن الذكي المتعلم الذي لا يسعى لمعرفة الماضي فحسب بل يريد أيضا أن يفهم لماذا أصبح العالمعلى ما هو عليه الآن وإلام سيؤول". وهذا أول تلك السلسلة التي تبتد~ بوصف الثورة الفرنسبة إلى عصر الانفجار الثوري سنة 1848 في أنحاء أوروبا والذي آل في مآلاته إلى نظام عالمي جديد ودولة حديثة ومفهوم جديد للتاريخ ... ووصفه لهذه الحقبة وصف شمال يبتدؤه بوصف الثورة الصناعية والفرنسبة وتبعاته الاقتصادرية والسياسية والديمغرافية، ومن ثم أثرها على العلوم والفنون ... كتاب مهم ..

  • Derrick
    2018-09-21 22:01

    As a product of the public education system, this book unquestionably cleaned my clock. The preconditions of the modern world are laid out, configured, and reconfigured with such precision, clarity, and ocassional flare that I could actually feel my brain humming like the filament in the Bright Idea Bulb. Thank you, Mr. Hobsbawm

  • Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
    2018-10-16 13:55

    A brisk canter through the fifty year period that shunted in the railway age of slum tenements and industrial over-production. The narrative is not too overburdened with facts (each chapter is supported by footnotes), just the odd reassuring stylistic idiosyncrasy.

  • Harpal
    2018-09-20 16:09

    The Age of Revolution achieves that rare combination of both sweeping scope and coherent argument. Tackling the tumult of 1789 to 1848 in Europe, Hobsbawm somehow manages to summarize the transformative political, social, and economic forces that swept the continent while not losing sight of his original argument: the French and Industrial Revolutions, “the Dual Revolutions” as he calls them, metamorphosed European society, and their repercussions in turn created the modern world. Critics respond that the point is hardly novel, but Hobsbawm’s explication of the grassroots social revolution, while never losing the grand political narrative, is what sets this work apart. Moreover, Hobsbawm is so refreshingly unlike other leftist historians in that he never devolves into Marxist jargon and rarely relies on hoary paradigms of center-periphery or class consciousness to make his points. However, I do fault him for an over-emphasis on the social ramifications of the Industrial Revolution in England. While perhaps at the time of writing this theme was as yet unexplored, the motifs of the Dickensian workhouse, debtors’ prison, and Mancunian squalor are well known to all but the completely ignorant and uninitiated. This is at the expense of a more quantitative evaluation of the effects of the Revolution. For instance, I can find no reference to a single measure of gross product anywhere. While he covers the role of cotton as a driver of the Revolution in good detail, as well as the contribution of scientific discovery, his approach is too qualitative for my liking. I would refer the interested reader to Paul Kennedy’s chapter on the Industrial Revolution in “Rise and Fall of the Great Powers”. I would also add that his rhetoric is alternatingly prolix and unadorned, a bad combination to be sure. He does not have the fluency or brilliance in riposte of a Tony Judt, a Niall Ferguson, or a Hugh Trevor-Roper. But I suppose he considered himself a serious scholar doing his duty to speak truth to power, or something of the sort. I also take issue with Hobsbawm’s use of the tired trope of crisis in modern history. As the book closes, he writes of the coming crisis of 1848, the state of crisis of the old regimes that survived 1789-1815, keeping their restive masses at bay only just so, and the tension between the desire for mass political participation and the reactionary conservatism of the remaining ancien régimes. In short, one is led to the seemingly inevitable crisis of 1848, itself a half-aborted event that did little to change the balance of power in Europe, save France perhaps. The language and tone are so reminiscent of that used to describe the crisis of nascent and competing nationalisms in the 1860s, the coming of war in the early 1900s and ‘10s, or the crisis of democracy in the 1920s and ‘30s, that one is left wondering if humanity is destined for perpetual crisis! The term can be useful, but its overuse unsurprisingly obscures and dilutes its meaning. But what is best about this book is its sheer undergirding of the most basic and transformational aspects of the Dual Revolutions. Perhaps a single line from the book summarizes it well. “The French Revolution was ecumenical.” The very notion of challenging an absolute power, godlike in its reign and authority, without peer or challenge, was unthinkable, and at some point that all changed, and so with it did ideas of mass political participation, of accountable government, of political terror, and of civil and criminal justice. The Industrial Revolution did the same, exponentially extending the limits of humanity’s ability to control and harness the Earth. Another line early in the book sums up just how truly revolutionary this time was. When the National Assembly first formed, Louis the XVI deigned to visit them. When he arrived, a sole member rose and said, “Sire, you are a stranger in this assembly. You have not the right to speak.” Imagine that.

  • Kevin
    2018-10-15 18:14

    This book was a great primer when I started University (back so long ago), and was on the recommended reading list for my Social History course I took. Being so young, naive and not that educated all those years ago, I barely understood it, and at least I never really that much got to grips with his narrative literal method of writing history; chronological accounts were all I had ever really read up to that particular time. Chronological History gives you at least a timeframe to work around; dates, events et al are very good, at least you can place events into epochs and years. However, serious History requires analyses too; it requires an ability to not only understand timeframes, but also how those events in certain eras are related to the Modern Day, i.e how can we actually learn from the past and incorporate those vital lessons into the present. Surely the whole point of being an Historian is to not just throw out dates and events and completely disregard how the past is in no way related to current times (completely separate or divorced from), but definitive good History is when you have a method of 'analysing' the past and how our World has been shaped by sometimes quite cataclysmic events and how our Modern World is a product of such tumultuous events in the past.The Age of Revolution deals with such analyses. It covers the dual-revolutions of the late 18th Century in Europe; we have both the first spark of the British economic Industrial Revolution starting around 1780, Britain being the only country in the world to have had the capital ability to develop a revolutionary method of production that led it to become the 'Workshop of the World' - the flames of which allowed it to conquer overseas markets via colonialism (India, West Indies and Southern USA) - just think raw cotton and sugar imports and manufactured cotton goods as exports - in a nutshell, and also the political French Revolution of 1789, just a decade later (not to mention the American War of Independence which Hobsbawms book briefly mentions, but still just as important). These two major late 18th Century events rocked the world; the established order crumbled under their revolutionary methods, more so politically in France and Europe than the UK, which was more socially and economically upheaving. Eric Hobsbawm suggests, being a Marxist, that at the very least the French Revolution was a Bourgeois Revolt; it threw away the old aristocracy and Absolutist Monarchy that had become a 'hindrance' of the new rising Bourgeoisie who wanted unfettered control of industrial, scientific, artistic and capitalist development. The 1789 revolution spread all across Europe (thanks to Napoleon) bringing in a new era, as Hobsbawm states, of liberalism which unfettered the chains of repression and the old Monarchies started to crumble in the face of progress (unless they adapated).Change and revolutionary change at that is the most deciding factor of the years from 1789 till the upheaval of 1848, where this book ends. Those fifty years or so were the most usurping years in the history of the Modern World - the Industrial Revolution started to slowly spread across Europe and the USA, old inhibitions around Religion started to sunder (apart from the Religious revival - mainly Protestant sects at that in the early 19th Century) and the old Enlightenment Philosophical ideas of the 18th Century actually gave an intellectual argument and justification for what was happening to social relations at that time (mainly due to the want of unfettered Capitalist production and monetary gain). Eric Hobsbawms book is intense containing some deep analyses and well researched facts (combined with a philosophical theory), but just I suppose is just a 'quick guide' from a Marxist Historian, but it certainly puts a progressive analyses of those vital, World transformative events that are still with us today. The past has had its say...

  • Suliman
    2018-09-28 16:13

    عصر الثوره للمؤلف إريك هوبزباوم و له ايضا عصر الامبراطوريه و عصر رأس المال و عصر التطرف هذه المؤلفات يقول عنا المختصون بأنها إحدى الانجازات الكبرى في مجال المؤلفات التاريخيهقسم المؤلف الكتاب الى قسمينالقسم الاول (التطورات) و يندرج تحته الفصول التاليه1- العالم في ثمانينيات القرن الثامن عشر2- التوره الصناعية3- الثوره الفرنسية4- الحرب5- السلام6- الثورات7- القوميةالقسم الثاني (النتائج) و فيه الفصول التاليه8- الأرض9- نحو عالم صناعي10- المهن تفتح ابوبها11- الكادحون الفقراء12- الأيديولوجيا : الدين13- الإيديولوجيا : العلمانيه14- الاداب و الفنون15- العلوم16- الخاتمة:نحو العام 1848الكتاب يغطي المرحله التاريخيه الممتده من عام 1789 الى عام 1848و يركز على اوروبا بشكل عام و النصيب الاكبر من الكتاب يخص بريطانيا العظمى و فرنساغني بالمعلومات و الاحداثكتاب جدا ممتازأتشوق لقراءه بقيه الكتب للمؤلف

  • Ibrahim
    2018-10-15 14:12

    يقول المؤلف "إن عالم الفكر يتمتع بالاستقلال إلى حد ما، وهو يتحرك على طول الموجة التاريخية نفسها التي تتحرك بها المؤثرات في الخارج، غير أنه ليس مجرد أصداء لها"، وهذا منهج الكتاب في تقصي الأحداث. أستطاع المؤلف بسرد شيق ومسهب توثيق مراحل الثورة في فرنسا وإلى العوامل التي أفضت إلى حدوثها في 1789 مرورأ إلى 1848 عند قيام جمهورية فرنسا الثانية، وما حدث بين هذين العامين من صراعات مابين مريدي الجمهورية والملكية ومابين المحافظين واللبراليين وعلاقاتها الأصيلة بمبدأ التوزيع العادل للثروة لتحقيق العدالة الإجتماعية والتشكيل السياسي المناسب للوصول لتحقيقها. كتاب شيق وغني بالمعلومات ويظهر فيه بوضوح خلفية المؤلف المؤيد لمبادئ الإشتراكية ونقمه على الرأسمالية وما سببته من مشاكل أجتماعية ومن نسف لمبدأ التوزيع العادل للثروة، وحيث يمهد للجزء الثاني من السلسلة والتي هي بعنوان عصر رأس المال 1848 – 1875م.كتاب أنصح بقراءته للمهتمين بتاريخ.

  • Mohamed Salah Suliman
    2018-10-08 21:56

    أول جزء في الرباعية التاريخية لإريك هوبزباوم.المؤلف قدر بسرد شيق وممفصل انه يوثق مراحل الثورة في فرنسا بدايةً بالعوامل التي أدت لحدوثها في 1789 ولحد عصر الانفجار الثوري في اوربا سنة 1848 و اللي حصل في الوقت ده من صراعات بين طرفين النزاع مريدي الجمهورية والملكية وكمان المحافظين واللبراليين وعلاقاتها الأصيلة بمبدأ التوزيع العادل للثروة لتحقيق العدالة الإجتماعية. وتأثير ده كلّه علي شكل العالم اللي احنا شايفينه دلوقت.. it has all started back then.كتاب عظيم فشخ. لمؤرخ عظيم فشخ.

  • Pedro
    2018-10-18 22:04

    Como escrever um livro de história! Com as definições e mapas, com limitações assumidas, mas com os factos, referidos e analisados, tentando mostra-los a todos e dando uma ideia do estudo feito. É um livro de divulgação que não trata o leitor como um imbecil ou cai no erro de ser pretensioso.

  • Laikhuram
    2018-10-05 15:10

    All must read this.Append: No way one can begin to understand the modern world unless one has read Hobsbawn.

  • Yann
    2018-09-21 16:00

    Instructif et synthétique.

  • jzthompson
    2018-09-20 13:47

    A couple of weeks ago I dropped the phrase "British Historical Entertainment Complex" into conversation. I thought it was quite clever and, like most of the things I say that I think are quite clever, it was met with a slight smile and a "very good Jim, you've been saving that one for a while haven't you? You great tosser." nod. I was making a reference to the "Right Wing Media Entertainment Complex" line that some bright spark thought up in the wake of the 2012 US presidential election to explain why so many Conservative Americans had managed to convince themselves that the election was going to be something other than a crushing defeat for their brand of messianic, fuck-the-poor-fuckwittery. What I was driving at is that much of what passes for history at the moment seems infected with the neurotic, backwards looking patriotism that stains most of British infotainment. Perhaps it's the recession but we seem to have an endless appetite for history that is heavy on Patriotism and light on insight or analysis - preferably covering WWII or the Empire*. I won't name names but a quick glance at the tv schedules or bestsellers list will surely throw up something like "How we Beat Jerry Twice (and let the Yanks help a bit)" to prove my point**. It's not just in straight history either - the never-ending fad for cupcakes and "retro" clothes, the endless twee, 40s tinged lifestyle shows; fully two thirds of BBC2's output seems to be titled The Great British Something or Other; seems like you can't even get a light entertainment show commissioned unless it's wrapped in bunting. The connection between the above state of the nation ramble and the actual book review is that in many ways The Age of Revolution felt like an antidote to that kind of fluff. This isn't history that sets out to reassure the reader that history unfolded as it should with Blighty coming out on top through pluck, daring and dashed good common sense. This is proper history with proper statistics about grain yields and steel production and stuff. Now Hobsbawm famously approached history from a Marxist perspective. I must admit that, whilst nothing more than an unexciting Social-Liberal-Democrat type myself, I really appreciate a good bit of Marxist analysis as a useful lens through which to squint at history. When Hobsbawm died though a lot was said about how, whilst a big brain and an undeniably great historian, he was a foaming-at-the-mouth, Commie-Marxist that loved Uncle Joe and hated FREEDOM. Now I've spoken to mouth-foamy Marxists of this sort and they're mental. Easily as mental as the Telegraph rattling Colonel Blimps they consider their opposite numbers. There was a bloke on a Dr Who forum I used to frequent who didn't believe in the Big Bang because he couldn't reconcile it with Dialectic Materialism or somesuch. Pass-the-dried-frog-pills-totally-Bursar-nuts. So I launched on this in the spirit you have to read some books written by clever people with dodgy views. Stern expression face, pen in hand for irate marginalia, appreciating the insights on offer but careful to avoid getting led down the path of thinking these views are reasonable. I've brought this combative approach to more than one book and it can be a bit wearing but it's pretty important to do from time to time - we'd be boring people if we only read books we thought we were going to agree with after all. So either I failed at keeping the correct intellectual distance from the book or Hobsbawm was nowhere near as nutso as the obituaries painted him. Personally I incline to the latter view. In fact I think it says quite a lot about how powerful the vaguely right-wing historical entertainment complex is in the British media, and most of the people who I have in mind here are media performers first and foremost, that any history that doesn't put colourful anecdotes about dashing establishment figures wrestling tigers or suchlike front and centre gets viewed as trying to slip something unsavoury past them under a veil of suspiciously continental cleverness.*** Hey ho. So examples are probably called for at this point... but examples are difficult... I'm enjoying writing these reviews of books I'm reading in 2014 but if I get to the stage where I'm jotting down notes as I go rather than just rambling through it as I see fit it's probably time to take me out back and put me out of my misery. But hey ho. It's true that this is not a particularly easy read: the first part of the book in particular where Hobsbawm traces the origins and progress of the dual revolutions contain a lot of statistics. Miles of railway built, population growth and slumps, steel production, cotton production, de-industrialisation in India. Loads and loads of statistics. I was fortunate to have come across some of the concepts covered in less demanding tomes - I think I would have struggled with this section had I not had the "Very Short Introduction to Global Economic History" as a crib.The second part of the book, where Hobsbawm takes a more thematic approach to "our period****", covers topics such as the arts, sciences and "ideologies - secular and religion" was a bit more user friendly but still assumed more easy familiarity with Romanticism, the Enlightenment and chaps like Saint-Simon, Rousseau, Burke, Kant, de Tocqueville etc. etc. than most books. I have come across most of these chaps in reading around this area but still am at times slow of brain, especially when trying to pick this up after a day's work, and at times would have appreciated a little more background before aboutt whether or not it would be pedantic not to characterise Saint-Simon as a utopian socialist were dropped in my path. The preceding two paragraphs aren't complaints as such - it's nice to read a book generous enough to assume a comparable intelligence between the reader and the writer - but it's true I had to re-read a few chapters to make sure I'd fully grasped what they'd covered. I could have done without quite so many untranslated quotes as well... always a sign of a book "of a certain vintage" that. I suppose in parts Hobsbawm does stretch the facts to a fit a thesis - referencing Dostoevsky in a list of great artist-rebels without referencing his later slide into obscurantist nationalist reaction for example - but there are plenty of people that get an entire career out of stretched facts and have never so much as bothered to include a map of most popular operas by city capital.Now I'm sure there are plenty out there on the internet that will conveniently hold his early enthusiasm for the Soviet Union forever as a reason to discount him as a historian. Fair enough to an extent - although he did get off that particular bus around about the time of the prague spring and there are intellects on the other side of the political fence with worse, more recent and unrepented lapses - but based on what I've seen here Eric Hobsbawm was a brilliant, incisive historian who didn't think his readers were idiots and thought that history was about more than just digging through the archives to find a few good stories about the Men That Made Britain Great...... and whatever his mistakes we could surely do with a few more like that. *About which the Orthodox position for as long as I can remember is that it was a pretty noble enterprise but saying so opens you up to all sorts of unjust attacks by the bloody Right-On Thought Police. I'm just guessing but I reckon that if you were to tot up the broadly pro-empire books in your local bookshop they'd swamp the books expressing the supposed anti-empire orthodoxy by a factor of ten to one. But I digress. **A friend of mine made an on the nose observation that this is basically what the Chinese Empire did when British Opium pushed them into a century of decline.***Given the unsavoury history of the British press using euphemisms like "cosmopolitan" to imply a certain lack of Britishness on the part of intellectual Jewish writers I realise that could be read as an allegation of anti-semitism on the part of the H.E.C... that wasn't my intention and for the most part I'm certain that is not the case.****And I really appreciated that inclusive touch. Thanks Eric!

  • Hatim
    2018-09-20 20:57

    يتناول المؤرخ و المفكر اليساري أريك هوبزباوم هنا تاريخ أوروبا في الفترة التي حدث فيها الحدث الأبرز في المسار الأوروبي وهو الثورة الفرنسية ، و يرصد الكاتب بصورة مادية كل العوامل التي أدت إليها و التي تمخضت عنها و يتحدث عن الكولونيالية و الصراع الإقتصادي المحتدم بين الانجليز و الفرنسيين و كيفية تعامل كل منهم مع المعطيات و تماهيه مع الأحداث التي تسببت بحدوث الثورة.فيبدأ بطرح كافة المعطيات التي سبقت الثورة و تكونها و إقتحام الباستيل و الفترات المتعاقبة و صراع اليعاقبة وكومونة باريس بالمحافظين و البرجوازيين و محاولة تمدد الثورة حول أوروبا بخوض الفرنسيين حروباً جديدة هدفها عصرنة أوروبا و تخليصها من عصر الظلام، مما نتج محاولة تحويل الجمهورية الفرنسية إلى امبراطوريه على يد نابليون ثم سقوط نابليون فيما بعد و عودة الملكية الزائفة مؤقتاً ثم أفولها ..إن كل تلك المراحل التي غيرت وجه العالم الذي نعرفه الآن تناولها هوبزباوم بصورة خالية من العواطف و الروح الثورية و التمجيد المبالغ الذي و تناولها بصورة سيميائية متتبعه و فاحصه توضح أن كل الأحداث الكبرى لم تظهر من العدم و أن كل أسبابها في الأخير اقتصاديه فحسب.

  • Del Herman
    2018-10-09 17:13

    The first of Eric Hobsbawm's marvelous trilogy on modern Europe. A truly pervasive sweep of the period between the French Revolution and the Revolutions of 1848 in which traditional hierarchies were overthrown, an unprecedented process of industrialization, modernization, and secularization had begun, and Europe found itself running into the treadmill that is the developed modern estate. What is most brilliant about Hobsbawm's take on the period is how he is able to provide such a broad sweep of the times and provides an overview which doesn't fall into the great man trap which so glorifies a half-dozen figures at the expense of the masses. That being said of course, Hobsbawm also does a phenomenal job taking us through the perennial figures of the age and bringing their importance to light. An amazing book every history-oriented person should read.