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Publisher's Summary

Eric Hobsbawm traces with brilliant anlytical clarity the transformation brought about in every sphere of European life by the Dual revolution - the 1789 French revolution and the Industrial Revolution that originated in Britain.

This enthralling and original account highlights the significant 60 years when industrial capitalism established itself in Western Europe and when Europe established the domination over the rest of the world it was to hold for half a century.

©1962 Eric Hobsbawm (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

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Extreamly solid yet with strange idiosyncrasies

All in all The Age of Revolution, part one in Hobsbawm's epic Quadrilogy, is an excellent history of the revolutionary changes in Europe (Mainly Britain and France, with the rest being shared out primarily to Europe with the smallest portion being reserved for the rest of the world). Hobsbawm, who's socialist leanings are proudly worn on his sleeve, isn't as exclusively focused on the conflicts over wealth and production as one would assume. A satisfying amount of the book dedicated to area's like culture and geopolitics which help to round out the the world he is guiding us through.

However there is one noticeable issue with the book, and that is his messiah like veneration for the intellectual contributions of Karl Marx. Some bias was always to be expected and one certainly cant discuss the 19th century without examining the impact of socialist theory. And yet, Hobsbawms veneration of Marx reaches a point where one could only assume Marx was the single greatest intellectual mind of the 1800's, a man who's work could be seen as the closest representation of truth that has been conceived. Even for someone with a healthy scepticism of capitalism's many (many) failings, this comes off too much like hero worship to feel like a credible assessment of Marx's teachings.

Still, is this enough to detract from the overall experience? Not quite, this book is too insightful for too much of its overall content not to recommended. Just be prepared to chuckle and roll your eyes every time he brings up his proletarian man crush

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-01-2020

Grand history narrative.

I can only wonder why it took so long for this history classic to be made available on audiobook. Thanks and well done to all concerned.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-2020

Masterly analysis of the period

The are two large caveats to this book:
First, this is definitely not an introduction to the history of the early 19th century, on the contrary, apart from a very brief overview of the 'dual revolution' (the Industrial and French revolutions of the late 18th century) in the first chapter, it assumes the listener has a decent grasp of the major events and people within the timeframe (and I'd have to admit that I don't - it was what I was hoping to gain from this). The focus is purely on the 'how' and 'why', not the 'what'.

Second, the author has a very clear Marxist worldview which influences his analysis. I don't think it adversely affects the book, (after all, the Spectre of Communism was haunting Europe during the period,) but your mileage may vary.

With that in mind, this is superbly written. It manages to be densely packed with information and insight, but so clearly laid out and argued that it doesn't seem overwhelming. The narration helps a lot, very clear and just the right pace. I look forward to listening to the other books in the series.

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  • Stephen Gott
  • 30-04-2020

A Detailed Study of The Modern Worlds Origins.

This look at how the French Revolution and the British Industrial Revolution, changed the course of world history.Is an indepth study starting from the 1790's to the late 1840's (subsequent volumes take the story onto the1990's).The book takes in the political, social, cultural and scientific developments of the time in detail.Not a book or indeed a series for rhe beginner, but of great interest to anybody interested in this important period of history.Hugh Kermodes narration is very good.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-06-2020

Detailed and informative historical analysis

The age if revolution is an incredibly well researched and put together piece of academic history. It surveys the entire world between 1789 and 1848, with understandable emphasis on Europe particularly Britian and France. Hobsbawns key argument is that bourgeoisie society is a product of the dual revolution ( french and industrial) he presents this within his world view as a marxist and delivers an engaging and thought provoking argument. The argument never feels constrained by marxist pre-determinism, over emphasis on historical materialism or the dialectic the fundamentals of Marxism are instead interwoven with the narrative presenting a coherent and convincing discussion of this most interesting and formative period of world history.

This is not an easy listen. Hobsbawm goes into heavy detail regarding economics, philosophy and science. Furthermore he gives little narrative history (although some of the earlier chapters are more narrative in nature ie Napoleon) so a good general understanding of the era, its philosophy, its key players and its major events will be very helpful before taking on this work. Further Hobsbawm writes in a grand sometimes old fashioned sometime slightly archaic style which some listeners may find tricky to grasp.

That said it is a fantastic work and a fundamental text on world history. Essential reading for anyone serious about the era or a student of history.

The narration was very clear and engaging if at times a little bit fast.

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  • John Adamson
  • 26-06-2021

Hazards for monoglot readers

Hobsbawm’s classic account of the half century of European history after the French Revolution is generally well read, so long as the text remains in English. The moment Hobsbawm introduces foreign words or quotations, the results tend to veer towards comedy, with a series of mispronunciations. There are also a few fine misreadings of the English text. Thus the British ban on suttee in India is misread as a prohibition on the ‘burning of windows’, rather than the ‘burning of widows’.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-03-2021

top history from top historian

hobsbawm is just great. detailed but always relevant. good mix of close and broad analysis. never obviously sentimental or clouded by national biases etc.

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  • LarsDK
  • 29-12-2020

Dense. Multi-facetted.

History writing with an eye for the influence of economics and a predilection for the large birds eye view of things. Rather dense and somewhat dry - but thorough.

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  • A. Cassidy
  • 10-06-2020

Definitive

This is the definitive historical account of the period, and is essential for anyone looking to understand the early modern western world. The narration is excellent as well.

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