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Revolutionaries [Paperback]

Eric Hobsbawm
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 April 2007

Recent years have seen a remarkable growth of interest in revolution and social upheaval. This collection of essays by distinguished historian and long-standing Marxist Eric Hobsbawm is a commentary and critical retrospective on the revolutionary movements and ideas that dominated the twentieth century, and which remain of crucial contemporary relevance. The essays here explore a broad range of related topics including the history of communism, the influence of marxism, insurrection, military coups and guerrilla warfare, and the role of intellectuals. This updated edition presents new thoughts on anti-communist polemics and the Spanish Civil War.

Written with clarity and masterly assurance, Eric Hobsbawm's essays are indispensable for a true understanding both of twentieth-century history and of the pattern of events today.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (5 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349120560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349120560
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 401,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Review

This is a highly readable, lucid and well-written book from which any student of contemporary revolutions can derive a great deal of profit (NEW STATESMAN)

This is an unusually rewarding book; almost every item bears witness to Professor Hobsbawm's sharp intelligence and felicitous style (TLS)

This is an extraordinarily clear-sighted and accessible work of hindsight. (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Book Description

* Classic essays on revolutionaries from Karl Marx to Che Guevara that could be key to a deeper understanding of today's current affairs

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hobsbawm essays and reviews 11 May 2009
Format:Paperback
As said above, the book "Revolutionaries" is a collection of mostly book reviews and a few essays by Eric Hobsbawm, written in the 1960s. Written in Hobsbawm's usual accessible and lively style, he considers all sorts of topics related to socialism and revolution. The quality of the reviews/essays varies a bit, but is generally high, and there are a few gems in it. Interesting in particular are his criticism of Hannah Arendt's idealist conception of revolution, his articles on historians and communism, his piece on the May 1968 movement in France, and an essay on "the revolution and sex" (which should really be a book of its own). Less succesful are some pieces on guerrilla war and on Leninism and revisionism. A curious addition is an article on revolution and cities, in which Hobsbawm discusses the oft-remarked, but rarely thoroughly analyzed, relation between city layout and planning on the one hand and the success of riots and insurrections on the other. Nowadays with Marxist influence firmly rooted in the area of social geography as well, there is more work on this, but Hobsbawm's article is a good preview.

On the whole, certainly worth a casual read.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will 3 Dec 2002
By John P. Lacny - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a collection of Hobsbawm's essays on the subject(s), originally published at the height of the New Left. It's marked by its sober assessment of the real problems facing those who would remake society, despite (or perhaps because of?) the author's clear sympathies for such a project and for the people who attempted it.
The essay on Vietnam (published in 1965 just as the United States was first committing troops in large numbers), which with dialectical precision lays out the reasons why the defeat of the United States was inevitable, is alone worth the purchase price.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hobsbawm essays and reviews 9 Jan 2008
By M. A. Krul - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As said above, the book "Revolutionaries" is a collection of mostly book reviews and a few essays by Eric Hobsbawm, written in the 1960s. Written in Hobsbawm's usual accessible and lively style, he considers all sorts of topics related to socialism and revolution. The quality of the reviews/essays varies a bit, but is generally high, and there are a few gems in it. Interesting in particular are his criticism of Hannah Arendt's idealist conception of revolution, his articles on historians and communism, his piece on the May 1968 movement in France, and an essay on "the revolution and sex" (which should really be a book of its own). Less succesful are some pieces on guerrilla war and on Leninism and revisionism. A curious addition is an article on revolution and cities, in which Hobsbawm discusses the oft-remarked, but rarely thoroughly analyzed, relation between city layout and planning on the one hand and the success of riots and insurrections on the other. Nowadays with Marxist influence firmly rooted in the area of social geography as well, there is more work on this, but Hobsbawm's article is a good preview.

On the whole, certainly worth a casual read.
0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wearisome. 3 Sep 2012
By Charles L. Zorbaugh Sr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Noting Hobsbawm having been cited frequently in numerous leftist works read over the years, I duly anticipated perusing "REVOLUTIONARIES"--only to have same-said anticipation crushed but a few essays into this collection (the essays having been penned in the 1960's and early 1970's). Hobsbawn astounds via his amazing alchemisation of inherently dynamic, human, and inspiring subject matters (e.g., essays entitled, "May 1968," "Intellectuals and the Class Struggle," etc.) into dry, tedious, bloodless "old school" academic insipidity! By the fourth or fifth essay--referencing Italian Communism--I was compelled to put my first (and last) Hobsbawm down.

Ultimately, with such a wealth of well-written, informative and vibrant books, articles, etc., relative to the material "REVOLUTIONARIES" covers readily available, Hobsbawm's work is not commended.
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