Discussion to be introduced by Dr Ray Sutton.
Prof. Eric Hobsbawm died in October 2012 at the age of 95. According to the BBC obituary, he was “one of the UK’s leading historians and one of the most significant intellectuals of the past half-century…… whose life and works were shaped by his commitment to radical socialism. His books focused not on kings, queens and statesmen but on the economic and social forces underpinning them.” His most well-known work was his “Ages” series : The Ages of Revolution, Capital, Empire and, finally, The Age of Extremes on the “short 20th century” 1914-91. His 1999 forward-looking “conversation” with the Italian journalist and political commentator Antonio Polito was published as “The New Century”. Ray’s talk will focus on Hobsbawm’s methods, motivation and modern relevance, although it is worth noting that his political evolution through his long and eventful life would be a subject in itself.