Echoes of the Marseillaise: Two Centuries Look Back on the French Revolution / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Rutgers University Press
Eric Hobsbawm reiterates the centrality of the Revolution for history on a global basis. He argues that those who wrote about the Revolution in the nineteenth century were convinced it had changed their lives dramatically, improving the economy and the lot of peasants. They saw the Revolution as a prototype of of the bourgeois revolution, enabling the middle class to gain power from the ruling class of aristocrats. Many believed proletarian revolutions would inevitably follow. In the years between 1917 and the 1960s, Marxists continued to use the French Revolution as a point of reference, paying increasing attention to the social and economic factors in the Revolution, not only to the political factors.
In the 1970s and 1980s, many historians began to argue that the Revolution achieved modest results at disproportionate costs. Hobsbawm argues that this massive historiographical reaction against the centrality of the Revolution reflects the personal politics of those contemporary historians for whom Marxism and communism are now out of favor. They are, he maintains, wrong. The Revolution transformed the world permanently and introduced forces that continue to transform it.
About the Author
ERIC JOHN ERNEST HOBSBAWM, CH FRSL FBA (1917-2012) was emeritus professor of history at Birbeck College, University of London, emeritus university professor of politics and society at the New School for Social Research, and a fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He authored more than twenty books, including the collection The Invention of Tradition and the tetralogy The Age of Revolution, The Age of Capital, The Age of Empire, and The Age of Extremes.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents Acknowledgments Preface Chapter 1: A Revolution of the Middle Class Chapter 2: Beyond the Bourgeoisie Chapter 3: From One Centenary to Another Chapter 4: Surviving Revision Appendix Notes Index