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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The must-have book for this era of history
If you have to study the first half of the 19th century, this is the book to have. Hobsbawm writes logically, clearly, and on a wide range of issues, including ones you would not necessarily expect, such as the arts and sciences. As well as being informative, it is an interesting and eye-opening read.
Hobsbawm's left-wing attitudes are clear throughout much of the...
Published on 26 Feb 2003 by chavergal

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Part of the standard Jewish view of European history promoted in particular since 1945.
Hobsbawm was part of a rather inbred world, one of many Jewish immigrants into Britain before 1945, doing no doubt a routine PhD in Cambridge. He had tenure at Birkbeck College and of course became part of the post-1945 era when Britain had been impoverished by the war. His book was standard university fare; I have a copy which was bought in a University Union Bookshop in...
Published 29 days ago by Rerevisionist


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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 30 May 2013
Wide-ranging yet full of fascinating detail. Hobsbawm combines masterly narrative technique with wry observations and a great deal of entertaining witticisms. The book is divided thematically which reads very nicely. Although it reads easily there's no shortage of probing concepts and Hobsbawm charecteristically challenges assumed moral and intellectual positions on various historical topics. Highly recommended.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best book i have ever read, 23 Dec 2002
By A Customer
Wow! Hobsbawm has done it again! This is an excellent book, which is extremely well written and covers a wide range of themes as well as key figures of the period. It does indeed sparkle on every page! Hobsbawm had a vast knowledge of social, economic and political history which is clearly demonstrated. He also displays an in-depth knowledge of science and technological developments which are integral to understanding this period. In fact this book impressed me so much I have read it 21 times! (That said this is a book you would only read if you were forced to!!)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Age of Revolution 1789-1848 (History of Civilization), 2 Jan 2013
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Although this is a bit dated, Hobsbawm is eminently readable and many of his insights are still as potent today as they were in the 1960s. Most enjoyable for history buffs like myself.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What they did not tell you at school., 25 Mar 2013
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How I managed to take English history all the way to A level and never even hear of Hobsbawm I don't know. This is the sort of thing that every school child should know, that for example thousands and thousands of weavers starved as the cotton mills took over their craft, and that one of the magnates who profited from the industrial revolution was Robert Owen who founded the co-operative society. The problem however is that as a school boy I would never have managed to read Hobsbawm because of his extraordinary prose style. I have never come across anyone who could put one sentence inside another like he does. He seems rambling and obscure at times but what comes through is his socialist convictions and his dedication to the history of the struggle of the proletariat.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Part of the standard Jewish view of European history promoted in particular since 1945., 1 Aug 2014
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Rerevisionist (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
Hobsbawm was part of a rather inbred world, one of many Jewish immigrants into Britain before 1945, doing no doubt a routine PhD in Cambridge. He had tenure at Birkbeck College and of course became part of the post-1945 era when Britain had been impoverished by the war. His book was standard university fare; I have a copy which was bought in a University Union Bookshop in the 1960s. Several generations were routinely exposed to this material by their teachers. The cover design shown is an Open University set book.

I'll review this in the way it was written: as a Jewish view, unconcerned with truth, but to promote what Hobsbawm's groupthink mind presumably considered Jewish interests. These are Jewish power, and of course money. His emphasis on power is irritating to the truth-seeker: most of science and technology is treated dismissively, Hobsbawm's attitude being like a shareholder, taking little interest in difficulties or practicalities, which are left to the employees. Doctors, including 'some in Germany', appear in lists, but in the employee sense. There is a massive bibliography, in which he is very careful (without saying so) to point to books by fellow Jews, and Soviet reference books, but otherwise shows little discernment. Nevertheless the bibliography almost manages to look more interesting than the book. There are many maps of a hard-edged sort. There are endnotes on each chapter, mostly references, perhaps to remind him who he copied.
There's curious back-to-front reasoning (64): railways were important BECAUSE they were expensive. This was 'needed if the capital-goods industries were to be transformed' meaning presumably Jewish finance had an interest. His material on the French Revolution has no mention whatever that I recall of Rothschild financing of both sides, nor of the Rothschild financial coup in London just after Waterloo. In fact, the French Revolution is barely mentioned, (The American Revolution is all but unmentioned; its basis in trying to throw off the financial yoke based in Britain is not something Hobsbawm would wish to discuss).
On Malthus (335) Hobsbawm deems him 'neither as original nor as compelling as its supporters claimed'. Hobsbawm doesn't think in terms of crowding or overpopulation or deaths, but financially– Malthus proved 'the poor must always remain poor'. Hobsbawm mentions (58) small men driven to be 'currency cranks' (the latter phrase is Jewish for anyone commenting on Jewish credit) and is the nearest he gets to a two-tier theory of money. It interested me to see Hobsbawm's pro-Freemasonry remarks when discussing Mozart. 'Ten million tons of coal' in 1800 puzzled me: what does Hobsbawm mean by this? Is it a lot? What are the implications? Naturally war deaths and injuries are pretty much ignored, and readers unaware of Jewish attitudes might regard this as objectivity. His nationalism chapter of course excludes 'Jewish' tribal racism.

The title is rather misleading: 'The Age of Revolution' and the dates 1789 and 1848 suggest the book is largely about revolutions, especially in those years. In fact there's little on either. The general feel and the contents suggest the book was never intended as a single, thought-through work: before the days of word-processors, the career writer would try to avoid the painful process or rewriting). Apologies for the tedium here: we find PART I: DEVELOPMENTS which are 1 THE WORLD IN THE 1780S/ 2 THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION/ 3 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION/ 4 WAR/ 5 PEACE/ 6 REVOLUTIONS/ 7 NATIONALISM an achronic list. Then PART II: RESULTS which are 8 LAND/ 9 TOWARDS AN INDUSTRIAL WORLD/ 10 THE CAREER OPEN TO TALENT/ 11 THE LABOURING POOR/ 12 IDEOLOGY: RELIGION/ 13 IDEOLOGY: SECULAR/ 14 THE ARTS/ 15 SCIENCE/ 16 CONCLUSION: TOWARDS 1848. The shoehorned descriptive non-analysis is discouraging.

Hobsbawm admires Marx, and is entirely subservient to Marxian Jews; the endnotes praise Marx's 'Capital' as 'almost contemporary'. Hobsbawm liked Hegel, who brought the advantage of allowing serious-sounding Germanic generalisations which look profound, though modified to be Jewish. This textbook must be viewed as a product designed to be put before students, rather than a serious work of history. Hobsbawm has a frown-inducing attitude of depending on (76-7) retrospective importance, in that case his estimate of the French revolution; rather like saying (e.g.) Marx was enormously important, so let's investigate his parents and grandparents. The more-or-less Marxist vocabulary is inescapable: 'bourgeois', 'implacable cash nexus', 'mature industrial economy', 'proletariat'.

Non-Jewish material clearly glazes over Hobsbawm's eyes. Subjects get their routinised dutiful sentences: Carlyle? Hapsburgs? Lancashire? 'Industrial revolution'? Music? Science? But there's a flicker of excitement where Jews are challenged: (343) Thierry brothers' idea that the French descended from the Gauls, and the aristocrats from Teutons, and Gobineau. As might be expected, ancient controversies depending partly on sheer lack of information aren't treated fairly: Sir William Lawrence's Natural History of Man 1819 (340) was part of the dispute as to whether natural growing things might be man-made. It's always interesting to see how sympathetic writers are to (e.g.) alchemy, or the very remote prehistory of mankind, or economics before much information existed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apolgies, 21 Jan 2014
By 
I do apologise to the Bookbarn for my previous complaint on the condition of this book when it arrived. This was made in error for I have recently discovered it was another book I had received entitled 'A History of Modern Europe by John Merriman' that this complaint should have been directed. I have since sent an e - mail to the Bookbarn apologising for my mistake for the book I receved as shown was in excellent condition. Sincerely Peter Gladwell
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11 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The dual revolution, 7 Oct 2007
By 
M. A. Ramos (Florida USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Hobsbawn wrote this book for those who wish to understand how and why the world has come to be what it is and where it is going. This is not a narrative history, and requires thought. The book is complex, but considering the topic and the length of the book, he has to be. But if your are an educated reader...you will like this book; and learn a lot from it about "isms" and how we use to live. Though I only gave it 3 stars, it is a must read.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Analysis, 19 Oct 2011
This is the only Hobsbawn book that I read but others will follow.It is highly perceptive,literary and wide ranging in its variety of subjects.It is somewhat less critical of the Industrial Revolution than Thompsons The Making of The Working Class but maybe a little fairer.Hobsbawn describes the Luddites as " simple-minded labourers" Thompson proves beyond doubt that this was certainly not the case.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flatters to deceive, 26 Mar 2013
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I approached this book with considerable enthusiasm hoping for a definitive account of the series of revolutions that took place in Europe in and around 1848 as well as of the reasons for and events leading up to them. I was, however, sorely disappointed for several reasons.

First among them was the overall balance of the book. The opening descriptions of the French and Industrial Revolutions are interesting and relevant as is the discussion on the resultant developments in European society. Yet, the events of the years around 1848 merit a mere handful of pages. In contrast, four chapters - more than a quarter of the book - are devoted to the ideology of the times and to artistic and scientific development. Do these subjects deserve such attention in a book entitled "The Age of Revolution" when what appears to be its central theme is so neglected?

A second reason for my disappointment was Hobsbawm's style of writing. I note the book was first published more than 50 years ago and accept that writing styles and perhaps the very way in which history is reported have evolved in the meantime. Even so, it became frustrating to have to re-read sentences and even paragraphs several times in order to gain a proper understanding.

Another factor was the difficulty distinguishing between fact and Hobsbawm's opinion which was all the more disturbing when that opinion was idiosyncratic. I have little interest in reading a simple catalogue of events, places and dates: that is too much like history taught at school. I value an author's own interpretation of the subject but prefer that a clear distinction is made between the subjective and factual elements of a discussion.

Finally and perhaps of greatest concern were the flaws and mistakes in sections of the book dealing with science, engineering and technology. I am not qualified to comment on possible errors in other sections but I am led to question how authoritative the book is as a whole given the shortcomings in the discussions about science. This, of course, brings us back to the comments above about Hobsbawm's willingness to render his opinion as fact. That tendency is all the less justifiable when his opinion is factually incorrect.

As noted at the outset of these comments, a disappointing book in several respects. Perhaps the most damning criticism of all is that by the time I had struggled through to the end, I knew little more about "the age of revolutions" compared to when I started the book.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better, 22 Jun 2012
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The subject areas of the book and the story it is trying to unfold about a swiftly changing world are very interesting but the book is let down by the somewhat turgid style of writing. The overly long sentences which include extra phrases or information meant to clarify the ideas have the opposite effect. The flow of the writing is broken and the increased complexity does not necessarily add to the understanding or enjoyment of the exciting period in our history.
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Hobsbawm E.J. : Age of Revolution:Europe 1789-1848 (Mentor Series)
Hobsbawm E.J. : Age of Revolution:Europe 1789-1848 (Mentor Series) by E J Hobsbawm (Mass Market Paperback - 1 July 1964)
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