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Primitive Rebels (Norton Library (Paperback)) Paperback – October 17, 1965

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Little attention has been paid to modern movements of social protest which fall outside the classic patterns of labor or socialist agitation, and even less to those whose political coloring is not modernist or progressive but conservative, or reactionary or, at any rate, rather inarticulate.

About the Author

A Fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Eric Hobsbawm is the author of more than twenty books of history, including The Age of Revolution and The Age of Extremes. He lives in London.
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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Library (Paperback)
  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (October 17, 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393003280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393003284
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #860,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alfred Johnson on August 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
The recently deceased British historian E.J. Hobsbawn, notwithstanding his unrepentant Stalinism to the end, wrote many interesting historical studies in his very long career. The book under review, Primitive Rebels, was an early effort to trace the sociological roots of rebellion in the period of the rise of capitalism. We all know that the development of the capitalist mode of production as it started in Europe was both a long and uneven process. The way various sections of the poor in European society, mainly rural and small town workers, responded and adjusted to its demands is the core of this study. Not all resistance movements of the time led naturally to the three great political movements that defined the plebian respond to early capitalism-socialism, communism and anarchism- but those are the ones that drew masses of people around their programs and this is the focus of this work.

Professor Hobsbawn divided his study into two basic parts. The agrarian response, particularly in heavily agrarian Southern Europe, and the urban response, particularly in the small towns of Northern Europe, where capitalist development gained a huge foothold. Although there are some similarities in the response of both components local conditions such as tradition, geography and custom played a key role in whether the response became an organized one or faded in the onslaught. To that end he touches upon the history of social banditry and millennialism in the agrarian milieu and the strong pull of anarchism especially in Spain on the other.
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Excellent, if brief, overview of several pre-modern resistance groups. This work looks at several groups who went against the established order; what they share in common is a lack of program - insuring that they will either die out or become co-opted into other movements (or the establishment). It is interesting to compare these groups to some more modern intellectual currents, such as postmodernism and the Merry Pranksters.
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Do not hesitate on buying it. My mother tounge is spanish and understanding Hobsbawm writing can be a challenge at times, but I do recommend reading the original english book. Hobsbawm goes into making a list of those he considers are Primitive Rebels and explaining whats behind those included in the list.
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