Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History

By the time of his death in 2012 at the age of 95, Eric Hobsbawm was the best-known and most widely respected historian in the world. This biography, the first to be published, uses the vast mass of the personal papers he left behind, including diaries, letters, unpublished books, lectures and articles, as well as his published works, to portray his life in the round: not just as a historian but also as a political activist, involved in many of the great events of the twentieth century, from the rise of Hitler through the Second World War to the Cold War and the collapse of Communism. Eric Hobsbawm also led a rich and adventurous private life, which this book describes in detail. This is a portrayal of a life in the round, drawing links, sometimes surprising, between the personal and the academic, that amounts to a history of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries told through one man’s experiences.