His early childhood was spent in ViennaAustria and Berlin, Germany. A clerical error at birth altered his surname from Hobsbaum to Hobsbawm.
When he was born, they were living in Alexandria. Soon after, they moved to Austria. When Hitler came into power inthey moved to England. He experienced the rise of fascism in Vienna and Berlin.
His political stance and historiography were likely affected by this cosmopolite background. Hobsbawm graduated from the University of Cambridge and lectured in Italy, the U. During the Soviet Invasion of Hungary inmost of its members left the British Communist Party, but Hobsbawm and a few colleagues did not.
Yet he protested the Soviet invasion of Hungary and was in favour of the Prague Spring. The main reason why he held on to the Bolshevik Revolution ideals so long and while all his colleagues were leaving the party is that he had experienced both anti-Semitism and fascism.
In during an interview he claimed that if the Soviet Union had succeeded in creating a true communist society, it would have been worth the deaths of the twenty million people who perished under Stalin.
But it should be remembered that he never chose to become a Zionist either. Hobsbawm, while in essence re-hashing a Gellnarian view, ultimately refuses to settle on a single definition of the nation, arguing that objective definitions are doomed to fail because exceptions can always be found Hobsbawm: This does not mean, however, that Hobsbawm has no tangible theory of nationalism Hobsbawm: He views the nation as a changing, evolving, modern construct that is brought into being by nationalism, and not the other way around.
He agrees that there are certain political, technical, administrative and economic conditions necessary for the emergence of the nation, such as the existence of administrative and educational infrastructure. Finally, Hobsbawm believes nationalism is constructed from above, although it needs to be studied from bellow as this is where it takes root and is most powerful and volatile.
Furthermore, there are three phases to the development of nationalism according to Hobsbawm In other words, why do certain nationalist movements gain mass support and not others? He proceeds to dissect the rise and evolution of various nationalist movements, largely in a European context.
However, throughout his historical analysis, a conclusion can be reached: Without the necessary economic factors, it would never succeed. That view from below, i.
In The Invention of Tradition, he and Ranger offer a collection of essays about how and why different traditions are invented, what purposes these traditions have and continue to serve. It represents a somewhat cynical view of nationalistic phenomena, but it is a theme which Hobsbawm shares with many more contemporary theorists in the field.
Hobsbawm distinguished between three types of invented tradition Hobsbawm Here is an interesting little blurb on how this has potentially manifested in Scottish Highland culture: Nevertheless, the process of nation building under conditions of independence continues at the present time, with inter-ethnic relations fundamentally altered by the changes in power relations brought about during three decades of warfare beginning in with the civil war.
While Islam has been a unifying force against foreign and non-Muslim invaders including in recent anti-NATO sentimentit has however never been enough in itself to unite all the ethnies of Afghanistan in the past.The Invention of Tradition, edited by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, is a selection of essays by different historians.
To quote the blurb: To quote the blurb: Many of the traditions which we think of as ancient in their origins were, in fact, invented comparatively recently.4/5. 40 (Volume 20, No.
1) March, Introduction by The Editors. SOCIALISM AND DEMOCRACY AT Frank Rosengarten – Looking Back in Order to Look Ahead: Twenty Years of Research and Publishing by the Research Group on Socialism and Democracy Victor Wallis – Socialism and Democracy During the First 20 Years of Socialism and Democracy.
The Invention of Tradition is a classic work of historiography, edited by the great British Marxist historian, Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, a prominent African historian.
The book, which is in fact a compilation of seven works, focuses around a single theme of the invention of many so-called historical, cultural, and social traditions. The Best Nonfiction Books of All Time Image by John Overholt (CC BY-SA ) The Best Books: Top Nonfiction list is a concise selection of books that provides the reader with an understanding of the social and natural world.
NOTE: Eric Hobsbawm is one of the best known historians of the Twentieth Century. In addition to many books on a variety of topics, Hobsbawm has written two important texts dealing with the subject of nationalism.
These include: Nations and Nationalism Since and The Invention of timberdesignmag.com excerpt included here is drawn from Nations and Nationalism since The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge University Press