Hobsbawm and the Analitic History

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at SPAMqut.edu.au
Thu Aug 3 17:34:51 MDT 2000

At 11:50  3/08/00 +0100, you wrote:
>Some political criticism to Hobsbawm don't seem to obscure his work as
>Historian. In his last book (result of an interview in Italy) he defends
>the Analitic History, saying that the History isn't just to discover. It's
>also to analyse. Some sociologist certainly don´t like of the Hobsbawm's
>opinion. No surprise, some historian also don´t like it because they
>prefer the Traditional History. Hobsbawm doesn´t deny his marxist
>inpiration. Maybe some criticism to he aren´t just.
>Ivonaldo Leite

I cannot forgive Hobsbawm for what he has written about Ireland. His a
priori anti-nationalism means in effect that he is pro-British therefore
pro-Imperialism. His comparison of the IRA with the Red Brigades is a case
in point.  the Provisional IRA were not middle class terrorists but rather
came out of the working class housing estates in Belfast and Derry.

Hobsbawm has also championed some Marxist historians who really try and
analyse the history of the British Irish relationship without ever using
the word imperialism. They perform the purely ideological feat of the
illicit exchange of equivalents, that is they assume that the Irish are
somehow or other equal in terms of power to the British. This is the kind
of shabby manoeuvre that Marx or Engels would never have performed.



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