In a vivid chronicle bristling with unorthodox views and fresh insights, British historian Hobsbawm divides the period from the outbreak of WWI to the collapse of the U.S.S.R. into three phases. The "Age of Catastrophe" (1914-47), marked by two world wars, the crumbling of colonial empires, the spread of communism and the near-breakdown of the capitalist system, ended only after the liberal West and the Soviet Union forged a temporary, bizarre alliance to defeat Hitler. Rivalry between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. dominated the ensuing "Golden Age" (1947-73), yet Hobsbawm (emeritus professor at the University of London and professor of politics at Manhattan's New School for Social Research) argues that despite Cold War rhetoric, the superpowers essentially accepted the division of the world and sought long-term peaceful coexistence. The Golden Age's real significance, he maintains, lies in explosive growth of the world economy, technological revolution and, for most of the globe, a social revolution marked by death of the peasantry, mass urbanization, the spread of literacy and the primacy of individualism over traditional constraints. The "Crisis Decades" (1973-present) have brought mass unemployment, severe cyclical slumps and a widening abyss between rich and poor nations. Hobsbawm weaves into his tapestry scientific advances, the decline of both avant-garde and classic high art and the disintegration of social relationships amid rampant individualism. Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
British historian Hobsbawm is most noted for his three-volume history of the "long 19th century" (1789-1914). Here he turns his attention to what he terms the "short 20th century" ( 1914-1991), which roughly coincides with his own life. It also corresponds to the lifespan of Soviet Communism, which naturally receives a major share of attention in this account. But Hobsbawm covers ideas more than events in this book, which is international in scope. In a work addressed to "the non-academic reader with a general interest in the modern world," he assimilates mountains of information from all over the century and tries to arrange it into a cohesive whole. The result is certainly not light reading, but it is a book that most libraries will need.
Gary Williams, Southeastern Ohio Regional Lib., Caldwell
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! This work is perhaps even more important than the author may have realized. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Israel Martinez Jr.
This is one of the most brilliant and illuminating books that I have ever read. It helps me to
understand the world I grew up in. I was born in 1946.
This is the first history book I've ever read where the point of view of the author was not American. Read morePublished 9 months ago by The Troll Under the Bridge
This is an excellent book, rich in insights and observations on "the Short Twentieth Century" (1914-1991). Nevertheless, like all historians, Hobsbawm has his quirks. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Al Singh
I read this book for a class, and I loved it. The authors discusses topics that usually don't receive that much attention in history books; culture and economics.Published 15 months ago by John W. Thurman
It was informative and helpful for understanding the time period. I only used it for one of my college classes. It's not a fun read unless you really enjoy history.Published on April 30, 2013 by Mo
Hobsbawm is forever actual. A very important book.
Booke was promessed to deliver up to 17th Dec 2012 and was delivered at 10th Jan 2013, but is ok! Read more
The controversial nature of this book, arising from its author's communist background, has been sufficiently discussed. Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by Michael Kohlhaas