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Industry and Empire: From 175 to the Present Day
 
 

Industry and Empire: From 175 to the Present Day [Kindle Edition]

E J Hobsbawm
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

This outstanding history describes and accounts for Britain's rise as the world's first industrial world power, its decline from the temporary dominance of the pioneer, its rather special relationship with the rest of the world (notably the underdeveloped countries) and the effects of all these on the life of the British people.

About the Author

Eric Hobsbawm was born in 1917. Educated in Vienna, Berlin, London and Cambridge, he became a Fellow of the British Academy and has been showered with academic honours from around the world. He taught until retirement at Birkbeck College, University of London, and since then at the New School for Social Research in New York. His many books have been translated into several languages.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2751 KB
  • Print Length: 431 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 2nd Revised edition edition (29 April 1999)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9DSI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #185,143 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

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, with honorary degrees from universities in several countries, he is the author of many important works of history.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Eric Hobsbawm's analysis of the Industrial Revolution is magisterial. The IR was not only an acceleration of growth, but an acceleration of growth through economic and social transformation.
It was also solidly founded on political and military pillars.
Politically, the kings were subordinated to Parliament, which was controlled by an oligarchy of landowning capitalist aristocrats. The British government based nearly all its policies on economic ends. At home, it provided support for technical innovation and the development of the capital goods industry. It crushed also foreign competition. Its foreign policies were based on war and colonization, which permitted to capture other countries' export markets.
Militarilly, it used the strenght of its Navy as a trade-minded weapon.
The first phase of the IR (1780-1840) was based on cotton; the second one on coal, iron and steel.
It constituted for nearly the whole British population a fundamental change, from the countryside to the city, and from a life of bare and uncertain subsistence to relative affluence.
The decline began already before WWI, when Britain became a parasitic economy, living off the remains of world monopoly.
The last part of the book is rather more an enumeration of pure statistics.
The author states also that Britain was 'never defeated in war, still less destroyed.'
In his magnificent biography of J.M. Keynes (part II), Prof. Skidelsky shows clearly that the debt contracted during WWII left Britain bankrupt after the war. His analysis of the negotiations about the Bretton-Woods system and the conversion of the British debt exposes mightily that the ultimate goal of the US Administration was the destruction of the British Empire and its Commonwealth ties. The US operation was a sound success.
The US assured its place as new world leader, until now.
A highly recommended book.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is simply brilliant 15 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Eric Hobsbawn is reknowned the world over for his quite brilliant writings on Industrial History. His writing brings to life the past,explains the past, is informative and never dull. You'll love this book even if you don't know what industrial history is about. But for those that don't know the book charts Britains history from about 1780-1900,it explains how we bacame a great empire and for example what impact the steam age or canals had on our country. You really *need* to read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the right wing of the conservative party 11 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fine book by a leading historian. When I had got used to the writing style the book presented a very informative analysis of how the UK manages to be ahead of the economic and cultural curve while at the same time politically and socially dysfunctional. The writers political views, unless you are a right wing instinctualist, are properly and carefully engaged.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retains its relevance 8 Jan 2013
By Steve Keen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
It was a pure and bizarre coincidence Eric Hobsbawm's death came as I was in the middle of reading this. By that time I had come to realise what a sharp commentator he was, and felt a real sense of loss, one which was shared by The Economist, which branded him The Last Marxist and eulogised him as if it was the Worker's Daily, not the house magazine of liberal capitalism.

There's nothing new about the story of Britain's, and often just England's, role in the Industrial Revolution. What differentiates this from, say, David Landes's otherwise more detailed Prometheus Unbound, is Hobsbawm's focus not just on the famous people at the top of society and the great innovators who form the normal dramatis personae of such accounts but also on ordinary people, whose lives were shaken up, remade, remodelled and sometimes totally ruined by the social transformations which accompanied the economic changes of the period of which he writes, as sentient individuals, not as a faceless mass of objects.

The industrial revolution was not immediately a land of milk and honey for the workers. It was not until the mid-19th century that even a minority of employers accepted the advantage of paying workers anything above subsistence levels. During booms, before and even subsequently, any purchase by the lower orders of consumer goods was considered unthrifty. For these workers, the dark satanic mills were complemented by dark satanic housing in dark satanic towns and cities teeming with diseases and bereft of verdant oases.
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Popular Highlights

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&quote;
If we are to sum up the role of the three main sectors of demand in the genesis of industrialism, we can therefore do so as follows. Exports, backed by the systematic and aggressive help of government, provided the spark, and – with cotton textiles – the ‘leading sector’ of industry. &quote;
Highlighted by 6 Kindle users
&quote;
lay not in the flowering of individual inventive genius, but in the practical situation which turned men's thoughts to soluble problems. &quote;
Highlighted by 5 Kindle users
&quote;
tendency for once-revolutionary innovations to acquire the patina of their own tradition by the length of their existence. &quote;
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