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First published in 1969, this now-classic book inspired a whole new field of historical study and brought its author popular acclaim. Bandits transcend the label of criminals; they are robbers and outlaws elevated to the status of avengers and champions of social justice. Some, like Robin Hood, Rob Roy, and Jesse James, are famous throughout the world, the stuff of story and myth. Others, like Balkan haiduks, Indian dacoits, and Brazilian congaceiros, are known only to their own countrymen.

In his celebrated study of these fascinating figures, Eric Hobsbawm, "one of the few genuinely great historians of our century" (The New Republic), spans four hundred years and four continents, setting these historical figures against the ballads, legends, and films they have inspired. The result is "a dazzling historical squib, fizzling with ideas and strange stories" (The Guardian).

For this new edition Hobsbawm has substantially extended and revised his original text. It appears at a time when the disintegration of state power is once again introducing fertile conditions for banditry to flourish in many parts of the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An utterly fascinating book."

"A wise as well as exciting book; a very valuable addition to the history of mentalities and to that of popular protest... This is human history at its very best."

"A dazzling historical squib, fizzing with ideas and strange stories."

"In an age of narrow specialists, Eric Hobsbawm remains the supreme generalist... For sheer intelligence he has no superior in the historical profession."

Library Journal
It seems that almost every country has bandits--some famous, some not--laced into its folk history. Hobsbawm's 1969 volume delves into the history of bandits and separates the myths from the facts: Were these men social avengers or just plain criminals? The text is supplemented by numerous pictures of Pancho Villa and other noted desperados from several countries. This is one of the few volumes that covers this subject seriously in great detail. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565846197
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 226
  • Sales rank: 711,195
  • Product dimensions: 0.56 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Hobsbawm was born in Alexandria in 1917 and educated in Austria, Germany and England. He taught at Birkbeck College, University of London, and then at the New School for Social Research in New York. In addition to The Age of Revolution, The Age of Capital, The Age of Empire and The Age of Extremes, his books include Bandits, Revolutionaries, Uncommon People, and his memoir Interesting Times. Eric Hobsbawm died in 2012.
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Portrait of a Bandit 1
1 Bandits, States and Power 7
2 What is Social Banditry? 19
3 Who Becomes a Bandit? 34
4 The Noble Robber 46
5 The Avengers 63
6 Haiduks 77
7 The Economics and Politics of Banditry 91
8 Bandits and Revolutions 106
9 The Expropriators 120
10 The Bandit as Symbol 139
App. A Women and Banditry 146
App. B The Bandit Tradition 150
Postscript 167
Notes 200
Further Reading 209
Index 220
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2005

    Bandits from a scholar's point of view!

    Hobsbawn does an excellent job relating the theory of banditry to the environment and times of which they belonged. I was somewhat disappointed that the book had limted biographical details of the bandits featured. He jumps from bandit to bandit, from jungle to prairie and from era to era. It is difficult to get a sense of continuity. Primarily an academic's work from a first rate scholar.

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