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The Age of Revolution, 1789-1848 (1962)

af Eric Hobsbawm

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Serier: Hobsbawm's Histories (1)

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2,432296,133 (3.99)23
Between 1789 and 1848 the world was transformed both by the French Revolution and also by the Industrial Revolution that originated in Britain. This 'Dual Revolution' created the modern world as we know it. Eric Hobsbawm traces with brilliant analytical clarity the transformation brought about in every sphere of European life by the Dual Revolution - in the conduct of war and diplomacy; in new industrial areas and on the land; among peasantry, bourgeoisie and aristocracy; in methods of government and of revolution; in science, philosophy and religion; in literature and the arts. But above all he sees this as the period when industrial capitalism established the domination over the rest of the world it was to hold for a century. Eric Hobsbawm's enthralling and original account is an impassioned but objective history of the most significant sixty years in the history of Europe.… (mere)
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This is an expansive book covering most aspects of social and political life across a vastly complicated and consequential period of time, so it is perhaps unavoidable that it only skirts the surface of many topics. Hobsbawm says so himself in the foreword, namely that the book is meant for the average reader interested in history, and can’t be expected (thankfully) to wade into the academic weeds on every topic. What this book is good at is a kind of outline of how our modern economic and political system erupted over the world in the early 19th century. It traces the origins of a system (liberal capitalism) that can sometimes feel like it’s always been the way we have lived - Hobsbawm reminds us how far from the truth this is, the capitalist world is a relatively new one, and in many ways we are still wrangling with the changes it wrought 200 years later. To me, this is the the study of history’s most important purpose and the source of its radical potential; things haven’t always been this way and there are clear reasons as to how we ended up where we are.

Coming to this book as a member of the intended audience (average reader ( )
  hdeanfreemanjr | Jan 29, 2024 |
The preface/introduction explicitly says that it's going to be a Eurocentric book focusing on France and Britain. Which is fair enough, although the title is a little dishonest - he only has limited space to cover an era of massive change and even though it's very disappointing not to see much about the rest of the world it's not surprising and at least it covers some stuff more in depth.

However, there's no excuse for stuff like this:

"There is much to be said for the enlightened and systematic despotism of the utilitarian bureaucrats who built the British raj in this period. They brought peace, much development of public services, administrative efficiency, reliable law, and incorrupt government at the higher levels. But economically they failed in the most sensational manner. Of all the territories under the administration of European governments, or governments of the European type, even including Tsarist Russia, India continued to be haunted by the most gigantic and murderous famines; perhaps—though statistics are lacking for the earlier period—increasingly so as the century wore on."

Praise for the British Raj in such terms is bad enough from a Marxist historian, but to put the praise and the fact of the atrocious famines they oversaw together makes it baffling. Surely this'd be a chance to point out the way the famines and the government were part of Britain profiting off Indian exploitation? But he doesn't go further. Kind of disconcerting.

However, I've rated 4 stars because 1) i feel this sort of thing is very hard to avoid in history books, and there's very little other unpleasant opinion in the book 2) keeping in mine the above biases, it's a really good overview of the period. Tries to cover general political history, scientific history, art history, economic history - obviously it does none comprehensively but it gives you a really good idea of where Europe particularly was at in the period and what sort of forces and ideas were involved in the changes that happened and makes me really want to learn more. Also seques perfectly into his next book, heh.

ooh also he wears his Marxism on his sleeve but there's no political polemic, it's just clear which biases inform his views

one small annoyance: quoting French, German etc without a translation. kind of useless for a lot of people

oh also someone just pointed out how little he talks about the haitian revolution, which is kind of a big thing to miss out - his Eurocentricism is really noticeable with stuff like that ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
One of the most informative, best-written histories I have ever read. Hobsbawm takes on the Herculean task of summarising over half a century of general European history and pulls it off. His socialist perspective on history is invaluable, as he transforms historical materialism from theory to actual analysis. This book is dry and dense, yet engaging it in its interface of the impact of Hobsbawm’s “dual revolution” to class development.
( )
  HundredFlowersBloom | Jan 27, 2023 |
Hjaj, de szeretem én az ilyen könyveket. Amelyek képesek bemutatni egy korszakot, mintha az a Történelem Köldöke lenne, események és eszmék kevercse, amelyből a XXI. század úgy szökkent szárba, mint egy virág, egy krumpli vagy egy parlagfű. (A kívánt rész aláhúzandó.) Hobsbawm kötete pont ilyen: okos, sokrétegű, inspiráló elemzés az 1789 és 1848 közötti időszakról, amely a szerző értelmezésében felszámolta mindazt, ami addig volt, és új lapot nyitott. Persze mi magyarok talán úgy vagyunk vele, hogy '48-at elbuktuk, jött Haynau, a hiéna, no és a Szent Szövetség, szóval olyan nagyot nem profitáltunk a dologból, de nincs igazunk: bár a reakció ideiglenesen eltaposta a parazsat, valójában veszített, csak még nem vette észre. Mert a változások a felszín alatt visszafordíthatatlanok voltak.



Hobsbawm a „kettős forradalom” elméletéből indul ki. Az egyik Angliában formálódott, és ipari forradalom a böcsületes neve. Ez a folyamat teljesen átalakította a gazdaságot, nem csak a technikai fejlődés tekintetében, hanem gyakorlatilag minden szinten – beleértve az emberi gondolkodást is. Fajunk ugyanis fennállása óta tulajdonképpen először érezhette úgy, hogy a határ a csillagos ég, a természet pedig nem ura, hanem szolgája. A hihetetlen ipari fejlődés hihetetlen pénzbőséget eredményezett, felbontotta az arisztokrácia és a klérus monopóliumát, új, addig nem is létező osztályok számára nyitotta meg az érvényesülés útját. Persze ahogy Schumpeter is mondta, teremtés nincs rombolás nélkül, szóval volt, aki ráfaragott. Az ipari fejlődés ugyanis Angliában csak azért lehetett lehetséges, mert a lakosság zömét alkotó agrárnépességnek baromi rosszul ment a sora, és az éhhalál szélén tántorgott. Ezért volt hajlamos arra, hogy szerencsét próbáljon a gyárakban, soha ki nem fogyó munkaerőt biztosítva az iparnak*. Ez pedig egyfelől azzal járt, hogy a tradicionális életformák erodálódtak, ráadásul a munkásság a városokban olyan körülmények közé került, amely – meglehet – sokkal rosszabb (részben mert gyökértelenebb) volt, mint apái élete. Amiről elég Dickenst megkérdezni.


(Ez is füstöl. Csak máshogy.)

De most ugorjunk át a franciákra. Mert ha London vállalta a forradalom ipari részét, hát Párizs tett róla, hogy legyen a dolgoknak politikai vetülete is. Az 1789-es események elképzelhetetlenek lettek volna az ipari forradalom nélkül, ám valamilyen szinten kiteljesítették azt: megmutatták, hogy az a homályos, körvonalazatlan aktor, akit „népnek” nevezünk, nagyon is valóságos, és akarattal bír. És ha ennek az akaratnak a királyok az útjába állnak, akkor nagyon durci tud lenni. A Bastille elfoglalásától Napóleon bukásáig terjedő mozgalmas huszonegynéhány év földcsuszamlásszerű politikai változásokat hozott: bebizonyította, hogy az ún. „uralkodó osztályok” nem törvényszerűen, Isten rendeléséből azok, akik, hanem bizony behelyettesíthetők másokkal. Ez pedig olyan tapasztalatnak bizonyult, ami kitörölhetetlenül beleégett a társadalom tudatába, és idővel megszülte a demokráciát**. Mégpedig pont azért, mert sikeressége tagadhatatlan volt: ahogy Napóleon mozgósítani tudta egy eszme segítségével egész Franciaországot, gyakorlatilag elsöpörve az ócska, agg európai monarchiákat, jelezte, van mit tanulni tőle. Mert aki nem tanul, az bizony lemarad. És bár végül a Császárt legyűrték, de amíg ő Szent Ilonán nyaralt, vívmányai (a Polgári Törvénykönyv éppúgy, mint az általános sorozás rendszere) egyre több államban teret nyertek.

A kötet nagy erénye, hogy a két eseményt egymással folyamatos kölcsönhatásban lévő entitásként mutatja be, amelyek folyton folyvást megtermékenyítették egymást, így szülve újabb és újabb világformáló ideákat. Marx például ugyanúgy merített a francia forradalomból, mint az ipari forradalom liberális gurujának, Ricardónak a munkaérték-elméletéből – a kettő elegye pedig a Kommunista Kiáltvány lett. Vagy beszélhetünk a mi Pefőfinkről is, aki ugyanúgy el volt ájulva a vasúttól (az ipari forradalom eme zászlóshajójától), mint attól, hogy „Lamberg szívében kés, Latour nyakán kötél”. Persze hogy mindezek után hatalmas kezdett-e végre lenni a nép, azon lehet vitatkozni. Mindenesetre én azt mondom, hogy amikor Kövér László visszasírja a francia forradalom előtti időszakot, akkor valószínűleg azt vizionálja, hogy ő valami nemesi kúriában terpeszkedett volna csibukozva, a zacsiját vakarva (pont mint most), nem pedig jobbágyként a földet túrja, látástól vakulásig. Pedig hát statisztikailag sanszos, hogy utóbbit dobta volna neki a gép. Ahogy valószínűleg nekünk is.

* Jellemző, hogy ahol ahol a parasztság relatíve jól élt (pl. Franciaországban), ott az ipar nem tudott olyan jól teljesíteni. Ami részben megmagyarázza, miért is maradtak le a gallok az angolokkal folytatott ipari versenyfutásban - azzal együtt, hogy feltalálóik semmivel sem voltak alábbvalóak a szigetország lángelméinél. És – némileg kitekintve – azt is érdemes megjegyezni, hogy a mezőgazdaságból élők nyomora kivándorlók millióit űzte el otthonról, ami meg is ágyazott az amerikai sikertörténetnek.
** És megszült számtalan más eszmét is: a nacionalizmust éppúgy, mint a szocializmust, a romantikát éppúgy, mint a biedermeiert. Amelyekről Hobsbawm nagy kedvvel beszél. ( )
  Kuszma | Jul 2, 2022 |
Önce bir kitaba puan verirken biz neye oy veriyoruz sorusu ile başlayalım.
Kitap çeviri değilse iş kolay fakat çeviri olduğunda işin içine çevirmen kalitesi, tashih gibi konular, hatta belki baskı kalitesi gibi şeyler giriyor. Ben kitaba dört verdim çünkü bu çeviri kalitesi ve tashihle beş vermek içimden gelmedi. Sadece kitabın içeriğine oy veriyor olsa idim beş verirdim.
Sitede her kriter için ayrı oy verme seçeneği olsa idi bu sorun çözülürdü.

Girişten anlaşılacağı üzere yayınevinden oldukça şikayetçiyim. Kafamda yayınevleri güvenilir, orta kalite ve kötü gibi üç ana kategoriye bölünmüş durumda. Dost yayınevi bu kitap sayesinde bir seviye alta indi. Başarılarının devamını dilerim.

İngilizcem yetersiz. Bu yüzden kitap okurken çevirmenlerin insafına kalmış durumdayım. Çeviriyi orjinal dili karşılaştırıp yorum yapabilecek durumda olmasam da çeviri beni tatmin etmedi.
Hissettiğim kadarı bunun bir yarısı çevirmen kaynaklı olsa da diğer yarısı Hobsbawn amcamızdan kaynaklanıyor. Kendisi zor cümle kalıpları kullanmayı seviyor, buna bir de yeterince iyi olmayan çeviri eklediğimizde sonuç bu oluyor. Tek bir cümlenin 8-9 satır sürmesi cümlenin içinde üç virgül, bir noktalı virgül, bir parantez görmek, cümlenin yönünün birden terse dönmesi vb. sizi şaşırtmasın.

Künyede düzeltmen olarak adı koymaktan utanmayan Halim Yurdakul'a da özel teşekkür etmek lazım. Dilbilgisi konusunda da iddialı olmayan benim kafamı duvarlara vurduracak kadar çok hata var. Hem de bu kadar baskı yapmış olmasına rağmen. Tek bir sayfada 7-8 hata gördükten sonra kendimi hakarete uğramış hissettim. Hataların önemli kısmı harf eksiği vb. Düzeltmen muhtemelen sadece künye sayfasını kontrol etmiş.

Çeviri ve tashihle ilgili yaptığım tüm eleştiriler benim okumuş olduğum 6. baskıya (2012 baskısı) özel. Pek ümidim olmasa da sonradan yaptıkları baskılarda bunları düzeltmiş olma ihtimali var.
Altıncı baskıda künyede çevirmen olarak Mustafa Sina Şener ismi var. Oysa bu sitede vb çok yerde çevirmen olarak Bahadır Sina Şener ismi geçiyor. Aynı kişi midir isim değişikliğinin sebebi nedir fikrim yok.

Hobsbawn kitabı yazarken hedeflediği kitle Avrupalı ve tarih konusunda fena olmayan seviyede ön bilgisi olan, örneğin bir üniversitede yüksek yapan öğrenciyi seçmiş bu belli. Sıradan okurun hedeflenmediği hissediliyor. 1700'lerin sonunda yaşanmış bir olaydan yada o tarihlerdeki bir kitaptan sanki askerlik arkaşından bahseder gibi bahsediyor. Sizin bunların hepsini bildiğiniz ön kabulü ile başlamış. Yada hristiyanlıkla ilgili kimi kavramları yaşamsal olarak bildiğiniz kabulü var.
Yani size kronolojik olarak olayları dizip budur diyecek bir kitap değil dönemin olaylarının marksist yorumu ile karşı karşıyasınız. İngiliz-Fransız rekabetinin ABD'nin kuruluşundaki etkisi gibi pek çok güzel ayrıntı var.

Kitapta sık kullanılmayan pek çok kavram kullanılmış. Çevirmen arkadaş ise bu kapsamdaki bir kitapta sadece bir kez çevrimenin notu (çn, sf 157) kullanarak bunları bulmak anlamak yükünü bizim sırtımıza yıkmış. Örneğin "filisten, indifa, pronunciamento ..." bazı şeyleri yaygın kullanıldığı şekilde değil kendi tercih ettiği şekilde kullanmış. Örneğin "desembrist, ussal". Akıcı olmayan cümleler, araştırılacak çok kavram derken kitabın okunuşu eziyetli hale geliyor. Hobsbawn'ın düşünsel zenginliğine rağmen zorlandım.

Özetle yayınevine rağmen güzel kitap. İmkanınız varsa orjinalinden okuyun, yoksa göreceğiniz eziyeti kabul edip öyle okuyun. ( )
  kebikecx | Feb 24, 2022 |
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The situation in Ireland was more dramatic. Here a population of small, economically backward, highly insecure tenants practising subsistence farming paid the maximum rent to a smallish body of foreign, non-cultivating, generally absentee landlords. Except in the north-east (Ulster) the country had long been deindustrialized by the mercantilist policy of the British government whose colony it was, and more recently by the competition of British industry. A single technical innovation—the substitution of the potato for the previously prevalent types of farming—had made a large increase in population possible, for an acre of land under potatoes can feed far more people than one under grass, or indeed under most other crops. The landlords’ demand for the maximum number of rent-paying tenants, and later also for a labour force to cultivate the new farms which exported food to the expanding British market, encouraged the multiplication of tiny holdings: by 1841 in Connacht 64 per cent of all larger holdings were under five acres, without counting the unknown number of dwarf holdings under one acre.

Thus during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the population multiplied on such patches, living on little except 10–12 lb. of potatoes a day per person and—at least until the milk and an occasional taste of herring; a population unparalleled in Western Europe for its poverty. Since there was no alternative employment—for industrialization was excluded—the end of this evolution was mathematically predictable. Once the population had grown to the limits of the last potato patch carved out of the last piece of just cultivable bog, there would be catastrophe. Soon after the end of the French wars its advance signs appeared. Food shortage and epidemic disease began once again to decimate a people whose mass agrarian discontent is only too easily explained. The bad harvests and crop diseases of the middle forties merely provided the firing squad for an already condemned people. Nobody knows, or will ever precisely know, the human cost of the Great Irish Famine of 1847, which was by far the largest human catastrophe in European history during our period. Rough estimates suggest that something like one million people died of and through hunger and another million emigrated from the stricken island between 1846 and 1851. In 1820 Ireland had just under seven million inhabitants. In 1846 she had perhaps eight and a half. In 1851 she was reduced to six and a half and her population has gone down steadily through emigration since. ‘Heu dira fames!’ wrote a parish priest, reverting to the tones of chroniclers in the dark ages, ‘Heu saeva hujus memorabilis anni pestilentia!’ in those months when no children came to be christened in the parishes of Galway and Mayo, because none were born.
Of all the economic consequences of the age of dual revolution this division between the ‘advanced’ and the ‘underdeveloped’ countries proved to be the most profound and the most lasting. Roughly speaking by 1848 it was clear which countries were to belong to the first group, i.e., Western Europe (minus the Iberian peninsula), Germany, Northern Italy, and parts of Central Europe, Scandinavia, the USA, and perhaps the colonies settled by English-speaking migrants. But it was equally clear that the rest of the world was, apart from small patches, lagging, or turning—under the informal pressure of Western exports and imports or the military pressure of Western gunboats and military expeditions—into economic dependences of the West. Until the Russians in the 1930s developed means of leaping this chasm between the ‘backward’ and the ‘advanced,’ it would remain immovable, untraversed, and indeed growing wider, between the minority and the majority of the world’s inhabitants. No fact has determined the history of the twentieth century more firmly than this.
The massive contempt of the ‘civilized’ for the ‘barbarians’ (who included the bulk of labouring poor at home) rested on this feeling of demonstrated superiority. The middle-class world was freely open to all. Those who failed to enter its gates therefore demonstrated a lack of personal intelligence, moral force, or energy which automatically condemned them; or at best a historic or racial heritage which must permanently cripple them, or else they would already have made use of their opportunities. The period which culminated about the middle of the century was therefore one of unexampled callousness, not merely because the poverty which surrounded middle-class respectability was so shocking that the native rich learned not to see it, leaving its horrors to make their full impact only on visiting foreigners (as the horrors of Indian slums today do), but because the poor, like the outer barbarians, were talked of as though they were not properly human at all. If their fate was to become industrial labourers they were merely a mass to be forced into the proper disciplinary mould by sheer coercion, the draconic factory discipline being supplemented by the aid of the state. (It is characteristic that contemporary middle-class opinion saw no incompatibility between the principle of equality before the law and the deliberately discriminatory labour codes, which, as in the British Master and Servant code of 1823, punished the workers by prison for breaches of contract and the employers merely by modest fines, if at all.) They ought to be constantly on the verge of starvation, because otherwise they would not work, being inaccessible to ‘human’ motives. ‘It is to the interest of the worker himself,’ Villermé was told in the late 1830s by employers, ‘that he should be constantly harassed by need, for then he will not set his children a bad example, and his poverty will be a guarantee of good behaviour.’ There were nevertheless too many poor for their own good, but it was to be hoped that the operations of Malthus’s law would starve off enough of them to establish a viable maximum; unless of course per absurdum the poor established their own rational checks on population by refraining from an excessive indulgence in procreation.

It was but a small step from such an attitude to the formal recognition of inequality, which, as Henri Baudrillart argued in his inaugural lecture at the College de France in 1853, was one of the three pillars of human society, the other two being property and inheritance. The hierarchical society was thus reconstructed on the foundations of formal equality. It had merely lost what made it tolerable in the old days: the general social conviction that men had duties and rights, that virtue was not simply the equivalent of money, and that the lower order, though low, had a right to their modest lives in the station to which God had called them.
THE LABOURING POOR

Every manufacturer lives in his factory like the colonial planters in the midst of their slaves, one against a hundred, and the subversion of Lyons is a sort of insurrection of San Domingo. . . . The barbarians who menace society are neither in the Caucasus nor in the steppes of Tartary; they are in the suburbs of our industrial cities. . . . The middle class must clearly recognize the nature of the situation; it must know where it stands.

                    Saint-Marc Girardin in Journal des Débats, December 8, 1831
That resistance was only strengthened by the opposition of even the bourgeois to such aspects of pure individual free competition as did not actually benefit him. Nobody was more devoted to individualism than the sturdy American farmer and manufacturer, no Constitution more opposed than theirs—or so their lawyers believed until our own century—to such interferences with freedom as federal child-labour legislation. But nobody was more firmly committed, as we have seen, to ‘artificial’ protection for their businesses. New machinery was one of the chief benefits to be expected from private enterprise and free competition. But not only the labouring Luddites arose to smash it: the smaller businessmen and farmers in their regions sympathized with them, because they also regarded innovators as destroyers of men’s livelihood. Farmers actually sometimes left their machines out for rioters to destroy, and the government had to send a sharply worded circular in 1830 to point out that ‘machines are as entitled to the protection of the law as any other description of property.’ The very hesitation and doubt with which, outside the strongholds of bourgeois-liberal confidence, the new entrepreneur entered upon his historic task of destroying the social and moral order, strengthened the man’s conviction.
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Between 1789 and 1848 the world was transformed both by the French Revolution and also by the Industrial Revolution that originated in Britain. This 'Dual Revolution' created the modern world as we know it. Eric Hobsbawm traces with brilliant analytical clarity the transformation brought about in every sphere of European life by the Dual Revolution - in the conduct of war and diplomacy; in new industrial areas and on the land; among peasantry, bourgeoisie and aristocracy; in methods of government and of revolution; in science, philosophy and religion; in literature and the arts. But above all he sees this as the period when industrial capitalism established the domination over the rest of the world it was to hold for a century. Eric Hobsbawm's enthralling and original account is an impassioned but objective history of the most significant sixty years in the history of Europe.

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