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Publisher's Summary

Dividing the century into the Age of Catastrophe, 1914-1950, the Golden Age, 1950-1973, and the Landslide, 1973-1991, Hobsbawm marshals a vast array of data into a volume of unparalleled inclusiveness, vibrancy, and insight, a work that ranks with his classics The Age of Empire and The Age of Revolution.

In the short century between 1914 and 1991, the world has been convulsed by two global wars that swept away millions of lives and entire systems of government. Communism became a messianic faith and then collapsed ignominiously. Peasants became city dwellers, housewives became workers - and, increasingly leaders. Populations became literate even as new technologies threatened to make print obsolete. And the driving forces of history swung from Europe to its former colonies.

©1994 The Trustees of the Eric Hobsbawm Literary Estate (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about The Age of Extremes

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Gain without Pain

Hobsbawm's masterful handling of language and personal convictions in deftly locating the currents of modern Western society is clearly evident in the audio recording of his book. It is unlikely that I would have sat down long enough to read his book. In the hands of a skilled British narrator, though, enjoying the work of a great historian is effortless.

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Thoroughly interesting overview C20th history

Very interesting and accessible history by an eminent historian who lived through much if it. A very instructive antidote to history as the accumulation of acts of great men. Hobsbawm gets under the History Channel's tales of daring-do and grapples with the technological, sociological and economic factors that drove the superficial changes.

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Good, with a few small issues

excellent reading, and a good book overall. Not a fan of his analysis of fascism, and think he was a little too short on the first world war, and non European participation in the first half of the 20th century, which was more substantial than he seems to see.

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Excellent Historian of broad historical trends

Hobsbawm is so accurate in his observation of long trends that he is always worth rereading. His honesty and conscience is so overtly illustrated in his books that makes him the most non-ideological Marxist since Marx!
In last chapter, he unveils his pessimism for the future: no ideology or religious mode of thinking is offered to try to avoid the horrors of the future!