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The Age of Capital, 1848-1875 (History of civilization) Hardcover – June 1, 1975


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Product Details

  • Series: History of civilization
  • Hardcover: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons; 1st edition (June 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684144506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684144504
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,003,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

What a book! For heaven's sake, and your own, read it! GUARDIAN 'Brilliantly conceived and equally brilliantly written' ASA BRIGGS 'Brilliant and wide ranging' AJP TAYLOR, OBSERVER 'Excellent' NEW STATESMAN 'A book filled with pleasures for the connoisseur and amateur alike' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Eric Hobsbawm is a Fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Before retirement he taught at Birkbeck College, University of London, and after retirement at the New School for Social Research in New York. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Diziet on March 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Age of Capital was originally the second part of a trilogy, flanked by The Age of Revolution: Europe, 1789-1848 and The Age of Empire, 1875-1914. Later the series became a tetralogy with the publication of Age of Extremes : The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991.

Although each book stands up as a volume in it's own right it is very difficult, when finishing one, to not want to continue to find out 'what happens next' even if you know perfectly well what happens. And this is because, even though the books are not narratives in the normal sense of the term, the way Hobsbawm draws out the themes and events of each period really makes you want to find out how he is going to explain subsequent developments.

This volume, like the others in the series, is made up of more-or-less discreet essays on individual aspects of the period under consideration. Each subject is a chapter and the chapters are gathered together into three sections - Part 1: Revolutionary Prelude, Part 2: Developments and Part 3: Results. The chapters in Part 2 include The Great Boom, The World Unified, Conflicts and War, Building Nations, The Forces of Democracy, Losers, Winners and Changing Society. And then in Part 3, he looks at the effects of these developments.

Partly because of this structure but also partly because of the quality of the writing, it is a really interesting and illuminating read.
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31 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Um, a few observations are in order. Firstly, Marx's critique of history, economics, and society must not be confused with the later activity of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, nor Ho Chi Min: just because they used Marx as their point of departure does in no way diminish Marx's project. Secondly, Hobsbawm is a Marxist historiographer--not a Marxist per se. Thirdly, the period 1848-75 witnessed some remarkably convulsive and important events: 1) the Crimean War [Britian burned on the Black Sea], 2) the Dano-Prussian War [Prussian victory at Düpple], 3) the Austro-Prussian War [Prussian victory at Sadowa], 4) German unification under Bismarck, and 5) the Franco-Prussian War which resulted in the spectacular German victory at Sedan, the collapse of the Second Empire, the Paris Commune, and the establishment of the Third Republic. Need we say more? Get the book.
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34 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
name a single European event that happened between 1848 and 1875...quick! My guess is that a lot of non-Europeans would have a hard time with that one. Yet it was an astonishingly influential period, the time when both capitalism and imperialism became truly, irreversibly entrentched. Hobsbawm tells the tale masterfully. Reading the book, it's hard to believe he didn't actually live through this time himself. The book is a superb marriage of narrative with historical detail. Read it. Read all three.
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As a Marxist historian, Hobsbawm is obsessed with "bourgeois" culture, "bourgeois" art, "bourgeios" religion. He uses this term almost obsessively when discussing this period. This is not a tendentious work, but it is clearly colored by the author's class warrior instincts. But this is a fascinating book, as are all of Hobsbawm's historical works. Unlike most Marxists, and unlike Marx himself, Hobsbawn is not boring.
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By Richard I. Pervo on May 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
H. shows how to ask the big questions and seek not just to summarize events but to pursue causes. Few can match him. From the Marxist perspective this era was a necessary prelude to the coming age of socialism...H. stresses not only the growth of the proletariat and the end of the old rural world, secure and paternalistic, as well as oppressive and unchanging, but also the beginning of the formation of a global system, not fair and balanced at first, but global. He notes that bourgeois dominance led to the development of an artistic avant garde. (Wagner gets many barbs, as well as recognition.)
I do not know how this will read to those unfamiliar with general history. H. analyzes many events that he does not describe.
two shortcomings: The American Civil War. Had he read Nevins, e.g., H. would have recognized that the war greatly stimulated the growth of American industry. His observation that the C.S. had the best generals and the best armies indicates that his information is not good.
Religion: like many anti-religious, H. prefers religious people to be fundamentalists. Other than a clause devoted to Reform Judaism, he ignores the rise of critical study and liberal religion.
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