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In these essays, about a quarter of them previously unpublished, Eric Hobsbawm reflects upon the theory, practice and development of history and its relevance to the modern world. These wide-ranging papers reflect Professor Hobsbawm's lifelong concern with the relations between past, present and future. They deal, among many other subjects, with the problems of writing history, its abuses and the historian's responsibilities; with the history of society and 'history from below'; with Marx and current historical trends or fashions; with Europe, the Russian Revolution and the descent into a world-wide barbarism that, increasing for most of the twentieth century, threatens to destroy the civilisation we have inherited from the European Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. These essays reveal a passionate belief in the importance of studying history, as well as displaying the incisive analysis, the breadth of allusion and the distinctive viewpoint for which this great historian is justly famous.
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