An interesting life, to be sure. Three things:

  1. His analysis of the 60s was interesting. Basically: the worldwide student revolt in the 60s was not really political in nature: it was a sort of personal and cultural revolt, nothing more, and nothing that posed any threat to the existing order.

  2. His position during the disastrous rise of Thatcherism and the implosion of Labour. He favored “tactical voting”, and saw the main goal as being the defeat of Thatcher, and had no patience with the sectarians on the left who wanted to maintain their ideological purity. I would undoubtedly have been among the sectarians, had I been British, but I see Hobsbawm’s point.

  3. His extensive travels in Latin America, and his seemingly effortless ability to meet and befriend the intelligentsia in all countries.

OK, more than three things: his apparent ease at learning languages; his nearly lifelong love of jazz; and his seemingly non-ideological Marxism.

Worth reading if you’ve read any of his work.



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: Interesting Times: A Twentieth-century Life
  • Author: Eric Hobsbawm
  • Published: 2002
  • ISBN: 1565849655
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 4.0 stars