"The point of Hobsbawm's work is to present a thesis which will challenge current assumptions about
nations and nationalism. Hobsbawm delivers on his promise."
Occasionally, modern scholars and academics are graced with the privilege of studying literature produced by historians so colourful that works written by said author may dispel exponential reactions that result in, among other things, mounds of debate, criticism and sceptic theorization. Indeed, as the following shall demonstrate, E.J Hobsbawm has had a profound impact as such on academics around the world with his historical literature...
Born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1917 to parents of British and Austrian origin, Hobsbawm resided in Vienna, Berlin and London before the age of 16. After obtaining his PHD at Cambridge University, Hobsbawm joined the ranks of academic elites and communists. Thereon, he shone as an established historian, professor and author, still tailoring substantial writings even today.
And today, it appears, "history is now making something of a comeback...to
show just how contingent and determined by circumstances even that which in an earlier age seemed timeless, immutable or 'natural' in fact was." . Case in point, Hobsbawm, in one of his most recent works, Nations and Nationalism since 1780, does exactly this.
Beginning with a well-organized and to-the-point introduction to his book, Hobsbawm conceptualizes, and presents his arguments within a broad framework. Inevitably, by engaging in what will further on be shown as an unavoidably controversial topic, Hobsbawm provoked diverse and extreme opinions with the publication of his work on nationalism and it's succeeding editions. The following shall provide a critical review analysis of Hobsbawm's Nations and Nationalism since 1780, by way of identifying and elaborating the central themes and arguments of said book, while considering reviews which most effectively convey the essence thereof, within a broad historical context.