America’s leading review of the arts and intellectual life
Eric Hobsbawm: lying to the credulous
Considering Hossbawm’s new book Interesting Times: A Twentieth-Century Life.
was right!Support The
Eric Hobsbawm is no doubt intelligent and industrious, and he might well have made a notable contribution as a historian. Unfortunately, lifelong devotion to Communism destroyed him as a thinker or interpreter of events. Such original work as he did concerned bandits and outlaws. But even here there is bias, for he rescued them from obscurity not for their own sake but as precursors of Communist revolution. His longer and later books are constructed around the abstractions of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat and the supposedly pre-ordained class struggle between them, capital and capitalism, empire and imperialismin short the Marxist organizing principles which reduce human beings and their varied lives to concepts handy to serve a thesis worked up in advance and in the library. This material, needless to say, was derived from secondary sources.
The purpose of all Hobsbawms writing, indeed of his lif ...
This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 21 January 2003, on page 9
Copyright © 2015 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/hobsbawm-prycejones-1824
E-mail to friend
A selection from David Pryce-Jones's memoir reveals the literary world, anti-Semitism, and changing politics of twentieth-century Europe.
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"