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Fractured Times: Culture and Society in the Twentieth Century [Kindle Edition]

Eric Hobsbawm
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Born almost a hundred years ago in Vienna - the cultural heart of a bourgeois Mitteleurope - Eric Hobsbawm, who was to become one of the most brilliant and original historians of our age, was uniquely placed to observe an era of titanic social and artistic change. As the century progressed, the forces of Communism and Dadaism, Ibiza and cyberspace, would do battle with the bourgeois high culture fin-de-si�cle Vienna represented - the opera, the Burgtheater, the museums of art and science, City Hall. In Fractured Times Hobsbawm unpicks a century of cultural fragmentation and dissolution with characteristic verve and vigour.

Hobsbawm examines the conditions that created the great cultural flowering of the belle �poque and held the seeds of its disintegration, from paternalistic capitalism to globalisation and the arrival of a mass consumer society. Passionate but never sentimental, Hobsbawm ranges freely across his subject: he records the passing of the golden age of the 'free intellectual' and examines the lives of great, forgotten men; he analyses the relation between art and totalitarianism and dissects cultural phenomena as diverse as surrealism, women's emancipation and the American cowboy myth.

Written with consummate imagination and skill, Fractured Times is the last book from one of our greatest modern-day thinkers.

Product Description


Eric Hobsbawm wrote with extraordinary wit, grace and power, qualities evident in this posthumously published collection (Richard J Evans Guardian)

Arguably Britain's most respected historian of any kind, one of a tiny handful of historians of any era to enjoy genuine national and world renown . . . Both in his knowledge of detail and in his extraordinary powers of synthesis, he was unrivalled (Guardian)

One of the greatest British historians of his age . . . For sheer intellectual firepower and analytical skill, Hobsbawm remained unsurpassed (Daily Telegraph)

A magisterial historian of the modern age . . . Eric Hobsbawm pioneered the study of popular protest, riot and revolt, and his writings were as important to social scientists as to historians (The Times)

Book Description

An engaging and provocative look at culture, from one of our best-known historians.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 511 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1408704285
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (28 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009SS98WQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #126,767 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOBSBAWM 24 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So much of written and spoken opinion is an "off the peg" product of the supeficial journalism of the day. How much more impressive and interesting to read the works of an original mind and a perceptive eye. This is the best read I have had in a long time. I found it intensely interesing , enjoyable and unputdownable. If you wish to get away from the hackneyed cliche then buy it. You will not be disappointed
We lost a great deal when the Grim Reaper collected the author as he sadly did so very recently
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing 7 May 2013
By Steve Keen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Each year-end, The Economist runs a special double edition to tide us over the festive season. It features, in amongst the usual news coverage, numerous learned and erudite articles covering a plethora of subjects, covering arcane zones of history, food, culture, politics, the human condition and more. This publication is my benchmark for general interest magazines. It was also my benchmark for judging this collection of essays by the distinguished historian Eric Hobsbawm who, despite his Marxist views, received a laudatory obituary from The Economist itself, the house magazine of liberal capitalism.

Unfortunately, my expectations, based upon his history books, were not fulfilled.

It's quite difficult to specify why. The fact that I hadn't heard of some of the people who are his subjects almost certainly had no bearing, nor that some of his subject matter, particularly opera, exists in an area I normally label "not interested". There are ways these things can be interesting. Here it's hard work.

Sometimes, certainly, Hobsbawm seems to have been showing off a little, scattering obscure quotations in amongst his text, but it's not their obscurity but their failure to add much that stands out. He makes a good point about our ability still to be able to read a printed text published in the 17th century and our inability to read an electronic one produced less than twenty years ago due to our loss of the appropriate software (I'm personally struggling to retrieve files from the mid-nineties in Word!), but it only needed saying once. This and other repetitions are due, of course, to the nature of many of the essays as originally talks given at the Salzburg festival, where his audience from year to year may not notice. His reading audience will be more aware.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wise Words 1 April 2013
I must object about the previous review - the clue is in the title - "Society in the Twentieth Century" so pre bank crisis. A good collection, wise words.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eric Hobsbawm - Hidden jewel. 24 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I find his thinking original and, based on this volume I plan on reading more of his work. Not well head of by general American public.
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