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The Age of Capital, 1848-1875 (Modern History #2)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  2,032 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
A major treatment of the crucial years 1848-1875 - a penetrating analysis of the rise of capitalism throught the world. In the 1860s a new word entered the economic and political vocabulary of the world: "capitalism". The global triumph of capitalism is the major theme of history in the decades after 1848. It was the triumph of a society which believed that economic growth ...more
Paperback, 394 pages
Published 1997 by Abacus (first published 1975)
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howl of minerva
The chapter on the arts alone is worth several times the price of admission.

Among the many many things I learned: the origins of hipsterism. The phenomenon of bourgeois youth performing a brief, sterile, apolitical, highly stylised rebellion against the materialism of their parents by retreating into some dubiously artistic enclave and imitating the lifestyle of the working class is an invention of the Parisian bohème of the late 19th century. Like all the best insights, should have been obvious
Luís C.
Jan 20, 2016 Luís C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is good to read quality books on this subject that Le Pen recovers to put their sauce. This book provides an accurate history of capitalism, without concealing anything. What we discover in these pages is that basic capitalism was not a bad thing, he is made when men and politicians have used to consolidate their power. Those who today rightfully condemn this crazy machine that is capitalism, would be very surprised to see that it is their precursors that made this machine went crazy. An impo ...more
Sotiris Karaiskos
Jun 06, 2017 Sotiris Karaiskos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, history
Συνεχίζοντας με την ίδια ανορθόδοξη μορφή αφήγησης ο Eric Hobsbawm σε αυτό το βιβλίο ξεκινάει από τις επαναστάσεις του 1848 για να προχωρήσει στην επόμενη φάση της εξέλιξης της εποχής του καπιταλισμού. Το ενδιαφέρον στοιχείο είναι ότι ο συγγραφέας εκμεταλλεύεται το σχετικά πιο ειρηνικό της περιόδου που ασχολείται για να ασχοληθεί περισσότερο με τη ζωή των ανθρώπων που την έζησαν και τις αλλαγές με τις οποίες ήρθαν αντιμέτωποι. Ένα ακόμα εξαιρετικά διαφωτιστικό ιστορικό βιβλίο.
Justin Evans
Jun 01, 2009 Justin Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-etc
As brilliant as this is as a work of synthesis, I wonder if it might help to know something about the era before you start reading? I knew a little, and it helped enormously. Hobsbawm has a habit of referring to historical events which aren't generally well known as if they were as familiar as Beatles lyrics, which can be frustrating even if you know something about the time. Hobsbawm himself recommends some out of print books for this purpose, and unfortunately I don't know any good books to re ...more
Sep 12, 2016 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Volume two of Eric Hobsbawms' four-part history of the modern world, from 1789 up till 1994. This time it is the Age of Capital, the era post 1848 up until 1875, witnessing the failure of the revolutionary wave of 1848 up to the slowdown in growth of the major industrialised economies in the 1870's. The period deals with the 'high-point' of growth for the developed(ing) industrialised nations (mainly European, although there is some mention of the growth of early North America as well as small s ...more
Colin MacDonald
Dec 21, 2013 Colin MacDonald rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is a deeply frustrating book. There's a lot of solid historical information and interesting insights here, but it's all buried in horribly convoluted writing. This is coming from someone who's pretty comfortable with 18th century enlightenment writers like Gibbon, Johnson, and Smith. I'm OK with complex sentence structure, but this is something else. It's almost stream-of-consciousness, peppered with digressions, asides, unnecessary details, caveats, exclusions, qualifiers, and elliptical r ...more
Jul 20, 2011 Yann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super instructif
Lamia Al-Qahtani
Jun 04, 2017 Lamia Al-Qahtani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
في هذا الجزء يتحدث عن تأثيرات انتصار الليبرالية في أعقاب ثورات ربيع الشعوب عام 1848 وكيف غير الاقتصاد ورأس المال الحياة في أوروبا والدول التي تأثرت بها وكيف استغل الأوروبيون شعوب العالم لزيادة رؤوس أموالهم وأرباحهم التي انتقلت بأوروبا من مجتمع الأرياف إلى مجتمع المدن وأثر هذه التغيرات على السياسة والاقتصاد والعلوم الطبيعية والفلسفة والفنون والثقافة والحياة الاجتماعية والدينية، وكذلك أثرها على دول مثل اليابان والولايات المتحدة ودول أمريكا اللاتينية وأيضا مصر التي كان موردا كبيرا للقطن أحد أكبر ال ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Jorge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
En esta segunda entrega de la Historia de la Modernidad de Hobsbawm, el Británico repite su formato de construcción de la historia. No relata, sino que subdivide toda la información disponible en una serie de capítulos, que dan como resultado dos grandes ejes: Las Causas y sus Consecuencias (Más una breve, pero exquisita contextualización sobre la revolución de 1848).

Al respecto, en este tomo, el autor resume el período posterior a la simultánea revolución Europea de 1848, como el del avance -y
lyell bark
Jul 06, 2011 lyell bark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"very nice." you could probably have more fun times in this particular time period by reading "late victorian holocausts" by mike davis as a companion piece, or something. also there's a nice sentence where he's like "everyone was a liberal [in classical sense, obviously here folks] then, the way no one is now." guess hobsbawm circa '75 wasn't expecting thatcher and hadn't heard about what reagan had done to california/was planning on doing to america/the world [take a big alzheimer's crap on it ...more
Nov 26, 2015 Neal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-history
Particularly strong accounts of the economic boom of the 1850s and the knitting together of the world into a single economy. The organization of the book into "developments" and "results" is frustrating though. Unlike in Age of Revolutions in which Hobsbawm has a clear argument for why this organization makes sense (understanding the development of the dual revolution and then seeing its effects) this history suffers from the division.
Jun 09, 2009 mahatma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
we asked her where he husband was.

‘he’s in america.’
‘what does he do there?’
‘he’s got a job as tsar.’
‘but how can a jew be tsar?’
‘everything’s possible in america’, she answered.

scholem alejchem, 1900.
Aleksander Østrup
Jun 18, 2017 Aleksander Østrup rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
The book with the highest density of the word 'bourgeois', i've ever read.

Covers in detail, and often with too many statistics to absorb, the years 1848-75. I'd recommend readers to brush up on the period, as Eric often assumes a fair portion of knowledge about major events in the period.

Otherwise more or lesson on par with the first book in the 'Age Of' series, with the same structure - i.e., not strictly chronological, but split into subjects, each covering the whole period with the occasional
Daniel B-G
Feb 27, 2017 Daniel B-G rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, h-modern
Whilst there is a wealth of information in this book, the quite clearly Marxist sympathies makes me doubt any analysis performed. The chapter on art is atrocious, in effect asserting that there is a single criteria of assessment for art and music, specifically Hobsbawm's taste.
Jun 08, 2014 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I sabotaged this book (and "Revolution") a bit by getting distracted in the middle of them and picking up other books, and then later finishing Hobsbawm's a chapter at a time. With "Empire," I was assigned the book and had a week to read it, and so I didn't get distracted and maybe that's why I enjoyed that one the most.
Still, H deserves five stars for the trilogy as a whole. This is probably the best presentation of the standard Marxist western narrative of globalization and modern
Sep 20, 2016 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Μακάρι να ήταν μάθημα ιστορίας στο Γυμνάσιο έχοντας βέβαια και ένα καθηγητή με έμπνευση!
Sep 10, 2013 Leonardo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-digital
Excelente libro. Es muy completo. Profundo aunque obviamente no puede entrar en demasiados detalles. Intenta tocar todo lo importante del período. Se puede leer sin saber demasiado sobre el tema, pero no menosprecia al lector, al contrario lo pone a prueba continuamente. El conocimiento enciclopédico de Eric es admirable.

No le da tanta importancia a la Guerra Franco-Prusiana como esperaba. Ni tampoco a la Comuna de París. Aunque son dos hechos insoslayables. En ese sentido me sirvió leer en par
Shane Avery
Aug 09, 2013 Shane Avery rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It's hard to think about Hobsbawm or his work without admiration; he writes world history about as well as one could hope...

"even the most traditional rural patterns of culture were undermined, not so much by migration as by education. For once primary education becomes available to the masses, traditional culture inevitably ceases to be basically oral and face-to-face, and splits into a superior or dominant culture of the literate and an inferior or recessive one of the non-literate. Education
Nov 02, 2012 Odhran rated it it was amazing
It's quite hard to tell, but I think this might be the best of the series. Only by a matter of degrees, mind. The same comments that apply to The Age of Revolution apply here - this is a thematic overview, and a companion text that deals with more straightforwardly narrative history would be ideal.

The usual caveats about overview historical works apply, too - no overview can cover everything, no scholar can know even a fraction of all the literature for such a broad period and area. And, of cour
Happy Labor Day! The second in Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm's "Age" quartet, covering world history (mostly European) between 1848-1870s. Not quite as illuminating as Age of Revolution (which covered 1793-1848), but worth the slog through. Sections on the Taiping Revolution in China, the "wild west" of the US, and the radical intellectuals in Russia were particularly interesting; I also love Hobsbawm's attempts to capture the zeitgeist of the period -- he's a historian who is interested not o ...more
Juan Manuel Wills
Excelente libro que resalta y muestra de manera clara los origenes del complejo siglo XX. El nacimiento de la burguesía, sus costumbres desarrolladas sobre nuevas premisas que destacaban el éxito por encima de la tradición y de las costumbres anteriores, los grandes avances en ciencia, destacando especialmente la teoría de la evolución de las especies de Darwin, el anti-clericalismo, las nuevas diferencias creadas por la riqueza y pobreza, permiten comprender de manera clara las razones que gene ...more
Jul 19, 2016 Paco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excelente análisis del periodo de referencia, en el que se apagaron las ansias de revolución y el capitalismo triunfó como modelo económico y social. Examen profundo sobre el ascenso de la burguesía y la situación de la clase obrera en ese periodo. Describe a la burguesía como una clase llena de contradicciones, consumista y liberal en lo económico, pero conservadora cuando toca a sus privilegios. Hace interesantes referencias al inicio del poder de EEUU y la guerra de secesión, así como de la f ...more
Ferruccio Fiordispini
A historic trilogy of absolute value.
This is the second chapter of a historical trilogy of the19th century. In fact, the author completed his work with a fourth work, which made him very famous, relating to the 20th century, which he brilliantly nicknamed the "short century". Likewise, we could define the eighteenth century as the "long century". In fact, this century, in the Hobsbawm trilogy, begins with the French Revolution dated 1789 and ends with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
Jackson Cyril
Having read Prof. Hobsbawm's tetralogy on the period 1789~1994, I have no doubt placing these works in the front rank of historical scholarship. Do I agree with all of Hobsbawm's conclusions? No. For example, in this work, he leads one to believe that the influence of Hegel and Marx was very great in this period and barely mentions Arthur Schopenhauer. The historian Hajo Holborn argues, correctly I'd say, (History of Modern Germany V2) that after 1851 it was Schopenhauer whose influence, especia ...more
Jon Morgan
This book largely accomplishes what it sets out to do: narrate and characterize the period of 1848 to 1875 as an interregnum within the long nineteenth century, marked by the ascendancy of a liberal capitalist bourgeoisie. The text attempts the route of overview as opposed to making any sweeping claims about the identity of this period. While on the one hand this avoids inaccuracy or bombast, the pitfall is that the book lacks a narrative, marking the period as a waiting room between the more ex ...more
Bryan Norton
Dec 16, 2014 Bryan Norton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: european-history
couldn't disagree with Owl Minerva more. The arts chapter is full of gross generalities and dated nonsense about the quality/superiority of some works over others. Hobsbawm is at his worst in discussing arts of this age, although, as usual, the book as a whole provides a solid introduction to the culture of the age and the economic/political factors which provided the material foundations for such developments.
Nov 19, 2012 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful insight into the time before and after the Civil War in the USA. Several themes sound familiar today.

I like President Ulysses S Grant's quote: As commerce, education, and the rapid transition of thought and matter, by telegraph and steam have changed everything, I rather believe that the great Maker is preparing the world to become one nation, speaking one language, a consummation which will render armies and navies no longer necessary.
If you love reading history like me, you've probably thought to yourself: Why do all histories center around heads of state and specific powerful individuals when surely a history of ideas quantitative data could present a truer history. This, my friends, is Hobsbawm. A real snoozer but great in small doses. read it with a less, let's say modernist, history covering the same time period and it can be like fine wine with a nice pate: delicious and nutritious!
Michael Oliver
A fascinating book, but Hobsbawm's sentence structure can be infuriating at times. I found myself having to re-read sentences in order to understand the point he was trying to make.

That said, the depth of research and insight is astounding. If it had been a little more fluent in places, then I would've rated it higher.
Jesse Morrow
Jan 27, 2017 Jesse Morrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hobsbawm's volume of his history of capitalism. Perhaps still tinted with scholarship and preconceived conceptions of the 1960s. but is overall an enlightening look at the structure of Capital and the Rise of the West. Other histories might cover the wars that happened because of the structure, but this opens to the redistribution of wealth into the hands of industrialists.

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Eric Hobsbawm, a self-confessed "unrepentant communist", was professor emeritus of economic and social history of the University of London at Birkbeck. He wrote many acclaimed historical works, including a trilogy on the nineteenth-century: The Age of Revolution, The Age of Capital, and The Age of Empire, and was the author of The Age of Extremes: The Short 20th Century 1914-1991 and his recent au ...more
More about Eric Hobsbawm...

Other Books in the Series

Modern History (4 books)
  • The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848
  • The Age of Empire, 1875-1914
  • The Age of Extremes: A History of the World 1914-1991

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