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4.2 out of 5 stars41
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 18 July 2015
Good background reading for a study of the period.
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on 18 January 2015
Part of one of the best history book series.
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on 13 November 2014
For Histroy Students, great reference book
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on 1 February 2015
very informative but hard work to read
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on 21 January 2014
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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on 30 October 2014
All all right!
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on 19 October 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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on 7 October 2007
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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on 22 September 2014
interesting book to know more about rather recent history
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on 26 March 2013
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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