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Eric Hobsbawm (Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm) Biography

(1917– ), (Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm), Primitive Rebels, Labouring Men, Industry and Empire

British historian, born in Alexandria, Egypt, educated at Cambridge University. Throughout his academic career he has taught at London University, where he became Professor of Economic and Social History in 1970. Primitive Rebels (1959), Labouring Men (1964), and Industry and Empire (1968) were among the publications that gained him recognition as a leading historian of the working classes. His subsequent works as a meticulous historian of British and European economic and social history include the trilogy The Age of Revolution, 1789–1848 (1962), The Age of Capital, 1848–1875 (1975), The Age of Empire, 1875–1914 (1987), and Echoes of the Marseillaise (1990), which examines how interpretations of the French Revolution have progressed over 200 years; The Age of Extremes (1994) is a work on twentieth-century history. While his writing consistently displays a socialist orientation, his willingness to challenge the traditional assumptions of the Left is clear from Politics for a Rational Left (1989), a collection of provocative essays on British society during the 1980s. His other works include The Jazz Scene (1959), published under the pseudonym ‘Francis Newton’. Culture, Ideology and Politics (1983) is a festschrift for Hobsbawm edited by Raphael Smith and Gareth Stedman Jones.

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