Academia. In , he became a lecturer in history at Birkbeck. He became reader in , professor between and and an emeritus professor of history in He was a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, from to Children‎: ‎Joshua Bennathan, ‎Julia‎ and ‎Andy. In these essays, Eric Hobsbawn reflects upon the theory, practice and development of history and its relevance to the modern world. The wide-ranging papers. Its purpose explicitly seeks to explain the relation between his life, his politics and his history, with a consequent focus upon Hobsbawm's status.


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A vast silence surrounds the realities of communism, a refusal to engage which led the late Tony Judt to conclude that Hobsbawm had 'provincialised himself'.

It hobsbawm on history a damning judgement". But one of the great lessons of the 20th century is that it's not true. For such a clear-headed writer, he appears blind to the sheer scale of the price paid. I find it tragic, rather than disgraceful.

Eric Hobsbawm

He does feel bad about the appalling waste of lives in Soviet communism. But he refuses to acknowledge that he regrets anything.

He's not that kind of person. Whereas people like Arthur Koestler left the Party after seeing the friendly reception of Nazi foreign minister Joachim hobsbawm on history Ribbentrop in Moscow during the years of the Molotov—Ribbentrop Pact —[46] Hobsbawm stood firm even after the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Hobsbawm on historythough he was against them both.

On History

The essence of Communism is the abnegation of individual freedom, as Hobsbawm admits in a chilling passage: Its demands had absolute priority. We accepted its discipline and hierarchy. We accepted the absolute obligation to follow 'the lines' it proposed to us, even when we disagreed with it.

We did what it ordered us to do Whatever it hobsbawm on history ordered, we would have obeyed If the Party ordered you to abandon your lover or spouse, you did so. He accepted the order to side with the Nazis against the Weimar -supporting Social Democrats in the great Berlin transport strike of He accepted the order to side with the Nazis against Britain and France following the Ribbentrop—Molotov Hobsbawm on history of He accepted the excommunication hobsbawm on history Tito.


He condoned the show trials of men like Laszlo Rajk in Hungary. Injust after Stalin's death, hobsbawm on history visited Moscow as one of the honoured members of the Historians' Group of the British Communist Party.

He admits to having been hobsbawm on history when, two years later, Khrushchev denounced Stalin's crimes at the Twentieth Congress of the Soviet Communist Party.

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When Khrushchev himself ordered the tanks into BudapestHungary, Hobsbawm finally spoke up, publishing a letter of protest. But he did not leave the Party. I have abandoned, nay, rejected hobsbawm on history, but it has not been obliterated.

To this day, I notice myself treating the memory and tradition of the USSR with an indulgence and tenderness. Didn't you know about the induced famine, the horrors of collectivisationthe false confessions, the terror within the Party, the massive forced labour of the gulag?

As Orwell himself documented, a great deal of evidence was reliably knowable even beforehobsbawm on history Hobsbawm pleads that much of it was not reliably knowable until Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin in When the bloody hobsbawm on history of 20th century communism intrudes upon Mr.

Eric Hobsbawm - Wikipedia

Hobsbawm's disquisitions, it's quickly dismissed. Hobsbawm dismisses the "zig-zags and turns of Comintern hobsbawm on history Soviet policy," specifically the "about-turn of —41," which "need not detain us here. Hobsbawm's admirers are right about his erudition:

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