Fractured Times by Eric Hobsbawm

76%

5 Critic Reviews

He wrote with extraordinary wit, grace and power, qualities evident once more in this posthumously published collection of essays and lectures on European culture in the 19th and 20th centuries.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Eric Hobsbawm, who passed away in 2012, was one of the most brilliant and original historians of our age. Through his work, he observed the great twentieth-century confrontation between bourgeois fin de siècle culture and myriad new movements and ideologies, from communism and extreme nationalism to Dadaism to the emergence of information technology. In Fractured Times, Hobsbawm, with characteristic verve, unpacks a century of cultural fragmentation.

Hobsbawm examines the conditions that both created the flowering of the belle époque and held the seeds of its disintegration: paternalistic capitalism, globalization, and the arrival of a mass consumer society. Passionate but never sentimental, he ranges freely across subjects as diverse as classical music, the fine arts, rock music, and sculpture. He records the passing of the golden age of the "free intellectual" and explores the lives of forgotten greats; analyzes the relationship between art and totalitarianism; and dissects phenomena as diverse as surrealism, art nouveau, the emancipation of women, and the myth of the American cowboy.

Written with consummate imagination and skill, Fractured Times is the last book from one of our greatest modern-day thinkers.
 

About Eric Hobsbawm

See more books from this Author
Eric Hobsbawm is a neo-Marxist historian of the Industrial Revolution who pays particular attention to the inequities toward the lower classes, especially in law and politics.
 
Published May 6, 2014 by The New Press. 338 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Fractured Times
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 06 2014

Hobsbawm speaks to the crucial need for engaged public intellectuals and the kind of rigorous social and political analysis so well represented by these urgent and important essays.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Jan 13 2014

Hobsbawm writes that “[n]o class of people is enthusiastic about writing its own obituary.” This is its challenging, but often illuminating autopsy.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Jonathan Freedland on Sep 05 2014

Some may dislike the curmudgeonly asides: He brands Tex-Mex food “a barbaric mutation” of Mexican cuisine. But these are minor. To read this book is to travel through what Hobsbawm called the “short 20th century,” accompanied by one of its sharpest minds — waving much of that era goodbye.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Nick Cohen on Mar 30 2013

Fractured Times is not a fully worked book but a collection of essays from the 1960s on. I wish Hobsbawm had found the time to reconsider some of his judgments before he died.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Richard J Evans on Mar 20 2013

He wrote with extraordinary wit, grace and power, qualities evident once more in this posthumously published collection of essays and lectures on European culture in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Read Full Review of Fractured Times | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for Fractured Times
72%

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