Mritiun sent this today. We have quite a few of his books at home (including his autobiography), and I use him in my teaching.
I went online and read and also added the comments. Many of them dealt with Hobsbawn as an historian and you get a really good idea of the the influence he had on students, everyday people and to some extent on politics.
but in addition there were some comments about his love and engagement with film, jazz, etc. I’ve put a few together:
His final word in his last book said it all for me, im much in debt.
“Economic and political liberalism, singly or in combination, cannot provide the solution to the problems of the twenty-first century. Once again the time has come to take Marx seriously” - Eric Hobsbawm ( How to change the world - Tales of Marx and Marxism 2011)
Only two years ago I saw him outside the Everyman cinema in Hampstead discussing the latest Woody Allen film with gusto, must have been about 93 then!
RIP a truly great thinker
I don’t know why this has affected me so much. What a great historian, a great writer and a great man.
He also wrote the most moving piece I’ve ever read, an obituary of Billy Holiday:
“But, while she destroyed herself, she sang, unmelodius, profound and heartbreaking. It is impossible not to weep for her, or not to hate the world which made her what she was.”
If we could allow ourselves the superstitions that Hobsbawm disdained all his life, I like to think he is now again sitting in a Jazz club, listening to a young BIlly Holiday, with the weight of this unjust world lifted from both their shoulders.