From Publishers Weekly
In this collection of essays, the British historian denounces globalism's increasing economic inequalities, which in classic Marxist form, he claims burdenthose who benefit least. Not surprisingly, Hobsbawm expects developing political resistance to retard globalism's progress in the next 20 or so years. Eventually, he implies, globalism will merely be a blip in the historically determined process of the international proletariat's triumph. The major obstacle to that development is the United States. Hobsbawm's America essentially has become a rogue superpower that rejects international common law in favor of what he calls imperialism of human rights, which, combined with a fear of terrorism, legitimates U.S. military intervention anywhere the uncontrollable and apparently irrational U.S. government decides. Hobsbawm contrasts the instability, unpredictability, aggression of the American pattern with an earlier, more measured, economically based British version that he considers almost benign by comparison (and is a far cry from his earlier writing on the subject). His loathing for American reliance on politico-military force to pursue global ambitions as unlimited as they are undefined has reached new depths. This erudite polemic may appeal to the intellectual left, but is unlikely to change many minds outside that sphere. (Mar. 18)
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PRAISE FOR ERIC HOBSBAWM’SThe Age of Extremes:
A History of the World, 1914-1991
“The fact is that no other living historian of whatever political affiliation has the intellectual firepower–the range and depth of knowledge, the analytical skill–to bring off a book like this.”
–Niall Ferguson, The Sunday Telegraph
“Hobsbawm’s magisterial treatment of the short twentieth century will be the definitive fin-de-siècle
–Kenneth Prewitt, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
“No historian can match his overwhelming command of fact and source… Hobsbawm’s gift for startling, often seductive generalizations from his material has only grown. He is a historian, not a novelist, but the engine inside his head is a Rolls-Royce imagination.”
–Neal Ascherson, The Independent
From the Hardcover edition.