Hobsbawm's book provides a well-written and informed overview of the long-term influences of Marxist theory and practice. His admiration of Gramsci as a classic Marxist thinker takes up two full chapters of the book which make a rewarding read. What puzzled me was the author's lenience when he discusses the development and achievements of the USSR and Stalinism and their impact on the communist movement. The left opposition to the CP line of the thirties and beyond to Hobsbawm is just a footnote. With hindsight, such an evaluation seems rather questionable in many ways. Still rather rooted in orthodox Marxist thinking, Hobsbawm nevertheless is certainly an authority on his subject. No small achievement at 94.
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