ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reflections on Hobsbawm

This short reflection highlights Hobsbawm's influences outside the Marxist tradition and speaks about the shared concerns and divergences with the author.

Eric Hobsbawm and I first met in the early 1970s, almost surely in Paris, where he and I were frequent visitors. I, of course, had been reading him for some time and had long been one of his many admirers. I believe that he first came into contact with my writings through the publication in 1974 of Volume I of The Modern World-System, about which he had kind words.

What brought us together intellectually were several shared appreciations. One was a view of Marxism that was no longer that of what I call “the Marxism of the parties”, although Eric remained a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain for most of his life and I never was a member. His concern with social actors o­ther than the (skilled) industrial work­ers, such as peasants and brigands, and his interest in social movements outside the western world (and particularly in Latin America) resonated with my own views.

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