Shelves: economic-history , history , marxism , british-history Eric Hobsbawm wrote the first edition of this book in , but then returned to revise it in , adding new material on developments since the first edition and revising and supplementing some of the original material. There is the additional fact that Hobsbawm was undoubtedly more at home in the Eric Hobsbawm wrote the first edition of this book in , but then returned to revise it in , adding new material on developments since the first edition and revising and supplementing some of the original material. There is the additional fact that Hobsbawm was undoubtedly more at home in the history of the 19th century than the 20th, for a host of reasons. His explanation for why the industrial revolution happened in Britain first is compelling, and his explanation for the subsequent pathologies of the British economy is ultimately that, as first to industrialise, Britain did not have to go through certain processes of political and social modernisation, and economic and organisational rationalisation, which other major economies generally did in order to catch up to Britain.
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In the years that followed the values developed which, taken together, made up the age of capital. In this history of the years , he continues his analysis of the rise of industrial capitalism and the consolidation of bougeois culture.
The extension of capitalist economy to the four corners of the globe, the mounting concentration of wealth, the migration of men, the domination of Europe and European culture made the third quarter of the 19th century a watershed. This is a history not only of Europe, but of the world. The Age of Empire London, , p. It is about hopes realized which turned into fears: an era of unparalled peace engendering an era of unparalled war; revolt and revolution inevitably emerging on the outskirts of a stable and flourishing Western society; an era of profound identity crises for bourgeois classes whose traditional moral foundations crumbled under the pressure of their own accumulations of wealth and comfort, among a new and sudden mass labour movement which rejected capitalism, new middle classes which rejected liberalism.
It is about world empires built and held with almost contemptuous ease by small bodies of Europeans, which were to last barely a human lifetime, and a European domination of world history never more confident than at the moment when it was about to disappear forever. The Age of Revolution London, , p. This "Dual Revolution" created the modern world as we know it.
Hobsbawm traces the transformation brought about in every sphere of European life by the Dual Revolution - in the conduct of war and diplomacy; in the new industrial areas and on the land; among peasantry, bougeoise, and aristocracy; in methods of government and of revolution; in science, philosophy and religion; in literature and the arts.
But above all he sees this as the period 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 a century. The book falls into three main chronological divisions: "The Age of Catastrophe ", an era of wars, crises, revolutions, fascism and, in general, cataclysm; "The Great Leap Forward ", a period which has seen the most rapid and spectacular transformation in world history; and "The Age of Crisis ", a period in which both communism and old certainties collapsed.
The book is global in scope, including in its ambit the geopolitical shifts in wealth, power and cultural influences and the rise and fortunes of the non-European North American world.
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