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4.1 out of 5 stars
49
4.1 out of 5 stars
Age of Extremes The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991
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on 25 April 2017
A fascinating and highly illuminating read which predicts many of our contemporary shortfalls.

A must read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 August 2016
This book is the final instalment in a four volume series concerned with exploring and understanding the history of modern society. Hobsbawn presents these volumes as a series of ‘ages’ – beginning with “The Age of Revolution”, then “The Age of Capital”, followed by “The Age of Empire”, and concluding with “Age of Extremes”. Collectively, the historical emergence and subsequent development of capitalism is outlined and analysed. Such an endeavour is certainly challenging – and is uncommon within the study of history (as most academic historians focus on a much narrower field of investigation, rather than seeking to engage with a social formation in its entirety). What make this book, and the series as whole, even more unconventional is that the author adopts a Marxist approach, grounding his analysis on Marx’s materialist conception of history.

"Age of Extremes" deals with that period of time Hobsbawn refers to as 'the short twentieth century' - from 1914 to 1991. As such, he starts by focussing on the outbreak of World War One and he eventually arrives at the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was a century of extremism - most notably, involving the rise and fall of both fascism and Communism. Hobsbawn separates his analysis into three main parts: First, he explores the catastrophes of 1914-45, which he sums-up as an 'age of total war' (including not just the two world wars but also several local wars - e.g. the Spanish Civil War - as well as intense class war, culminating in the global economic collapse of 1929-31). Second, he examines the 'golden age' of stability in the initial decades following 1945, involving social and cultural reform. Finally, he assesses the crisis that gripped the world from the mid-1970's to the early 1990's - involving economic decline, political instability, and regime collapse.

This book is, like the others in the series, exceptionally well-written - intended both for history students and the more general reader. Hobsbawn draws on a vast array of sources to substantiate and defend his narrative, and he persuasively discusses the dualistic nature of the 20th century: as simultaneously destructive and creative. It's a highly fascinating book, and one that helps elucidate the dynamics and tensions of capitalism - as have created the world we live in today.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 August 2016
This book is the final instalment in a four volume series concerned with exploring and understanding the history of modern society. Hobsbawn presents these volumes as a series of ‘ages’ – beginning with “The Age of Revolution”, then “The Age of Capital”, followed by “The Age of Empire”, and concluding with “Age of Extremes”. Collectively, the historical emergence and subsequent development of capitalism is outlined and analysed. Such an endeavour is certainly challenging – and is uncommon within the study of history (as most academic historians focus on a much narrower field of investigation, rather than seeking to engage with a social formation in its entirety). What make this book, and the series as whole, even more unconventional is that the author adopts a Marxist approach, grounding his analysis on Marx’s materialist conception of history.

"Age of Extremes" deals with that period of time Hobsbawn refers to as 'the short twentieth century' - from 1914 to 1991. As such, he starts by focussing on the outbreak of World War One and he eventually arrives at the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was a century of extremism - most notably, involving the rise and fall of both fascism and Communism. Hobsbawn separates his analysis into three main parts: First, he explores the catastrophes of 1914-45, which he sums-up as an 'age of total war' (including not just the two world wars but also several local wars - e.g. the Spanish Civil War - as well as intense class war, culminating in the global economic collapse of 1929-31). Second, he examines the 'golden age' of stability in the initial decades following 1945, involving social and cultural reform. Finally, he assesses the crisis that gripped the world from the mid-1970's to the early 1990's - involving economic decline, political instability, and regime collapse.

This book is, like the others in the series, exceptionally well-written - intended both for history students and the more general reader. Hobsbawn draws on a vast array of sources to substantiate and defend his narrative, and he persuasively discusses the dualistic nature of the 20th century: as simultaneously destructive and creative. It's a highly fascinating book, and one that helps elucidate the dynamics and tensions of capitalism - as have created the world we live in today.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 June 2016
This book is the final instalment in a four volume series concerned with exploring and understanding the history of modern society. Hobsbawn presents these volumes as a series of ‘ages’ – beginning with “The Age of Revolution”, then “The Age of Capital”, followed by “The Age of Empire”, and concluding with “Age of Extremes”. Collectively, the historical emergence and subsequent development of capitalism is outlined and analysed. Such an endeavour is certainly challenging – and is uncommon within the study of history (as most academic historians focus on a much narrower field of investigation, rather than seeking to engage with a social formation in its entirety). What make this book, and the series as whole, even more unconventional is that the author adopts a Marxist approach, grounding his analysis on Marx’s materialist conception of history.

"Age of Extremes" deals with that period of time Hobsbawn refers to as 'the short twentieth century' - from 1914 to 1991. As such, he starts by focussing on the outbreak of World War One and he eventually arrives at the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was a century of extremism - most notably, involving the rise and fall of both fascism and Communism. Hobsbawn separates his analysis into three main parts: First, he explores the catastrophes of 1914-45, which he sums-up as an 'age of total war' (including not just the two world wars but also several local wars - e.g. the Spanish Civil War - as well as intense class war, culminating in the global economic collapse of 1929-31). Second, he examines the 'golden age' of stability in the initial decades following 1945, involving social and cultural reform. Finally, he assesses the crisis that gripped the world from the mid-1970's to the early 1990's - involving economic decline, political instability, and regime collapse.

This book is, like the others in the series, exceptionally well-written - intended both for history students and the more general reader. Hobsbawn draws on a vast array of sources to substantiate and defend his narrative, and he persuasively discusses the dualistic nature of the 20th century: as simultaneously destructive and creative. It's a highly fascinating book, and one that helps elucidate the dynamics and tensions of capitalism - as have created the world we live in today.
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on 12 March 2002
The depth and breadth of the author's knowledge and research make this an awesome, if at times heavy, book.
For me, its greatest asset is the way that this book takes familiar elements and weaves them into a coherent whole. The individual portraits presented in this book are detailed in themselves, but when they are portrayed as a single panorama of the twentieth century it is incredible to behold.
This detail is also the book's downside. In those sections where I had too little existing knowledge to build upon I found the prose too dense and anecdotes distracting - but that may say more for my history than the author's prose.
If you are looking for an superficial way to put the events of the twentieth century in context, then this book is not for you. But if what you seek is a way of building and interlinking your existing knowledge of the twentieth century then you will certainly not be disappointed by this amazing book.
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on 10 May 2017
I bought this to have a different yet respected view on history to refer to while doing my degree.
Hobsbawm is an engaging and informative writer and filled the criteria perfectly.
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on 20 March 2017
Book even smells new
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on 21 November 2001
The research which has gone into this book is amazing. The author has lived through almost all of the age he discusses and uses frequent personal anecdotes both to illustrate and provide reason for his views. The book argues a strong case, the central thesis being that the events of the twentieth century are without precedent in their scope and speed, and that their momentum cannot last for the sake of humanity. Although Hobsbawn's political and academic bias is obvious; the long narratives on the Soviet Union and frequent examples using Latin American countries being cases in point, his arguement is both compelling and well researched. An essential read both for those who wish to understand the past, and the increasing numbers, who, given recent events would like an insight into the choices which face us in the future.
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on 30 September 2017
ordered on the 24th of sept, arrived on the 30th, i dont know what else to say. its a book??????? with paper???????
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on 13 May 2017
Very efficient service - I would use this seller again.

A really good read.
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