A new documentary on the life and legacy of the great historian Eric Hobsbawm, The Consolations of History, has been released by the magazine London Review id Books,
Hobsbawm wrote many articles for the magazine as the documentary touches upon but the film’s strength is its focus on his scholarship, the political scope of his work, and the political activism that he was involved in throughout his life.
Hobsbawm was not a neutral observer, a Marxist whose views of history and politics were informed by the class struggle.
I found the story of his childhood to be very interesting. He was a citizen of the world from the beginning of his life.
Also, listening to Hobsbawm speaking in Italian, fluently, was disarming and wonderful.
His four books on world history which cover the time period from the French Revolution through the 20th century are absolutely essential, The depth of analysis and the high quality if the writing are extraordinary.
This documentary provides an insightful and fascinating look at Hobsbawn’s personal, professional, and political life.