The Age of Capital: 1848-1875

The Age of Capital: 1848-1875


By (author) Eric Hobsbawm

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  • Publisher: Abacus
  • Format: Paperback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 196mm x 34mm | 381g
  • Publication date: 1 January 1988
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0349104808
  • ISBN 13: 9780349104805
  • Illustrations note: Section: 16, B&W
  • Sales rank: 41,200

Product description

The first and best, 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 rests on competitive private enterprise, on success in buying everything in the cheapest market (including labour) and selling it in the dearest. An economy so based, and therefore nestling naturally on the sound foundations of a bourgoisie composed of those whom energy, merit and intelligence had raised to their position and kept there, would - it was believed - not only create a world of suitably distributed material plenty but of ever-growing enlightenment, reason and human opportunity, an advance of the sciences and the arts, in brief a world of continuous and accelerating material and moral progress.

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Author information

Eric Hobsbawm is a Fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Before retirement he taught at Birkbeck College, University of London, and after retirement at the New School for Social Research in New York.

Review quote

What a book! For heaven's sake, and your own, read it! GUARDIAN 'Brilliantly conceived and equally brilliantly written' ASA BRIGGS 'Brilliant and wide ranging' AJP TAYLOR, OBSERVER 'Excellent' NEW STATESMAN 'A book filled with pleasures for the connoisseur and amateur alike'

Editorial reviews

Hobsbawm's classic account of Europe in the third quarter of the 19th century. Its Marxist thrust provides for a passionate but always erudite and searching exploration of the great epoch of industrial capitalism with the enormous riches that it created for some and the deprivation bestowed upon others. It forms part of what is now a four-volume panorama covering the period from the French Revolution to the present day, but each volume stands alone and this is one of the finest. (Kirkus UK)