The sharpest historical mind of the last century turns his eye on re Marxian revolutionaries bandits mafias anarchist The Meaning of Difference: American Constructions of Race, Sex and Gender, Social Class, Sexual Orientation, and Disability peasants and the like from 1789 1900 and what emerges is a very colorfulortrait of eople usually rural in origin although Hobsbawm does spend a chapter on the urban mob who are usually not talked about in broad ranging histories on unrest and revolution we see Italian easants turn to the Mafia Spanish easants embrace Bakunian anarchism English workers embrace various religious ideologies and rural eoplesfrom across Europe look to Robin Hood type figures to help deal with the troubles of modern industrial society A compelling read Robin Hood Pancho Villa enormous numbers of obscure backwoods bandits you ll never of heard of are supposed to have robbed from the rich to give to the oor Hobsbawm takes a swing at this confusion of myth and history from an historical Marxist erspectiveHobsbawm s central argument is for the historical existence of the social bandit not ordinary criminals but Birds people accepted byeasant communities as engaging in legitimate rebellion At least that s what I think the central argument of this book is I suspect the argument was made clearly in the chapter of Primitive Rebels that this book is apparently an expansion of because there are a lot of references in this book to things the reader is already supposed to know Almost all the historical characters in this are obscure even Hobsbawm says most of them are unknown outside remote isolated backcountry districts and the Tales from the Ballpark Tales from the Ballpark Tales from the Ballpark: More of the Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told More of the Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told More of the Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told publication of this book founded the field of bandit studies so I m not sure why Hobsbawm writes in a way that suggests the reader should be already familiar with his subject and his arguments It s confusing and unsatisfying especially because it seems like some of the outlaws would be very interesting if they weren t just a list of names so marginal to history they ll never even be googleableHobsbawm was famous for the uality of his historical writing Sadly this is my only experience of him and this is apparently not very representative Even so far as I understand his argument I m not convinced that the bandits he talks about are any different from normal criminal gangs except in mythology and legend It reuires such an elaborate attempt to draw boundaries between bandit gangs rooted ineasant communities and criminal groups that seem Isocrates I (The Oratory of Classical Greece, vol. 4) practically identical and so many ualifications for each example of a social bandit that he offers it seems to me that he might as well admit that extortion theft and highway robbery of outsiders becomes a source of income in many economically marginalised groups and sometimes thos. Bandits is a study of the social bandit or bandit rebel robbers and outlaws who are not regarded byublic opinion as simple criminals but rather as champions of social justice as avengers or as rimitive resistance fighters Wheth.
E communities seek to justify or excuse it especially if the robbers try and share out some of the benefits Also sometimes in a time of social revolt some of those bandits may join the revolt Hobsbawm was singularly unsuccessful at showing that these rimitive rebels are any likely to Perfect Phrases for Writing Company Announcements: Hundreds of Ready-to-Use Phrases for Powerful Internal and External Communications participate than the generalopulationEffectively I suspect that Hobsbawm and other 60 s radicals had a romantic attraction to the idea of bandits as a kind of rebel and on attempting to write a book exploring the concept it became clear it didn t stack up but Hobsbawm didn t want to abandon it and it was too Versailles painful to clarify his thoughts uite useful for my research though I would have appreciated a list of outlaw characters that could serve as an example uite uneven anderhaps scholarly than I would have liked it to be It falls far from Hobsbawm s standard of combining great rose with scientific rigour and for the greatest art I was bored with repetitive comments on banditry and uite long lists of bandits namesNonetheless the book is uite original if not in style at least in the topic which is uite obscure and it would not be an overstatement to say that this is the definite work on this subject There was one striking exception to the otherwise rather flat and dry writing The chapter on the expropriators devoted almost entirely to El uico Francesc Sabat Llopart gave me goose bumps I was so engaged in this man s story narrated by Hobsbawm that at some The Mystery of the Two-Toed Pigeon point I felt like I was reading a novel and not actual history The book is worth buying only for this one you arerobably not as interested in doomed idealistic bozos but this a little treasure of their brave failuresHobsbawm can be a little tendentious but we re all tendentious he just owned his tendentiousness also the Rack Ruin postscript in theaperback I read hipped me to this Richard white article Great story badly told The only two chapters apart from the appendices and updated Espenlaub postscript that were most relevant and interesting were the ones regarding the role the Russian Anarchist Banditslayed during the early 20thC but Hobsbawm really does not like them being Anarchists and so on up until the Civil War after the 1917 Revolution oddly Nestor Makhno is not mentioned in this short book and the chapter on Expropriation with an excellent short biography of an Anarchist called Francesc Sabat Llopart a refugee from the Spanish Civil War who later Splendid Solution performed guerilla operations against Franco working across the Pyrenees who I suppose epitomised the Social Bandit that this book heavily deals with and theorises upon According to Bakunin the famous Anarchist theoretician a Bandit is the genuine Er Balkan haiduks Indian dacoits or Brazilian congaceiros their spectacular exploits have been celebrated andreserved in story and myth Some are known only to their own countrymen; others like Robin Hood Rob Roy and Jesse James.
Nd sole revolutionary a revolutionary without fine hrases without learned rhetoric irreconcilable indefatigable and indomitable a opular and social revolutionary non olitical and independent of any estate This surmises the essence of what the book is about but be repared for no serious study of any How to Be Alone particular famous Bandit or Outlaws it is theoretical Marxist social study about the relationship betweenopular heroes and their class basis And yes Pancho Villa is mentioned who still holds an almost romantic appeal in South America to this day along with Zapata who had of serious agrarian Racial Theories In Context programme compared the military one of Pancho Villa A bit dry and I was disappointed for no serious characterorganisational study instead focusing and briefly mentioning some incredibly obscure bandits across the world from South America right over to Indonesia I give it 35 rounded down to a 3 star book because I found it severely lacking and not what I was looking for Interesting nonetheless This is a concise survey of the socialhenomenon of banditry and why it is different than lain criminality as well as olitical revolutionaries although it obviously shares significant features of both As always Hobsbawm s Marxist analysis obscures the religious ethnic and racial underpinnings of banditry and although written in 1968 overlooks the role of any women at all in the Cigarette Kisses peasantry Useful for my reading in this case for being an archetype into which terrorist groups convenientlylug themselves in an expropriate stuff for the cause Because Hobsbawm is the author I m awarding 3 stars Had the author been unknown 2 stars would robably be my rating Frankly I found the book mostly turgid confusing Hobsbawm has certain theories about the nature of bandits rebels righters of social wrongs in myth flesh blood but I damned if I can tell you what they are Nevertheless he does recount the careers of several of the flesh blood variety this section which is sadly too brief is where the merit of the book lies One bandit in articular a Catalan whose career spanned the years of the Spanish Civil War as well as the ost war Franco era was articularly interesting I d read a biography of that guy Interesting ramble around the bandit as a Gutsy Girls: Young Women Who Dare phenomenon from mainly ruraleasant societies Looks at the roles Organizations As Knowledge Systems played by Expropriators Haiduks Avengers Noble Robbers and It is in the chapters where their opposition to state authority is analysed where this book really fide its feet the sense of action andurpose if occasionally murderous ossessed by some of the figures in the book is an example of anti authoritarianism that shames some of the narcissitic revoluti. Are famous throughout the world Setting the historical figures against the ballads legends and films they have inspired the author's examples range across the last four hundred years and come from Europe the Americas Africa and As.
Eric Hobsbawm a self confessed unrepentant communist was professor emeritus of economic and social history of the University of London at Birkbeck He wrote many acclaimed historical works including a trilogy on the nineteenth century The Age of Revolution The Age of Capital and The Age of Empire and was the author of The Age of Extremes The Short 20th Century 1914 1991 and his recent au