Eric J Hobsbawm

1917 - 2012
HOBSBAWM-Eric J., October 1, in London

The New School acknowledges with sadness the passing of Eric J. Hobsbawm, a widely respected and influential 20th-century Marxist historian. For more than a decade, Hobsbawm taught at The New School, where he inspired thought-provoking debate throughout the academic community. In 1984, Hobsbawm came to The New School for Social Research as University Professor of Politics and Society. In 1986, he co-founded the Committee on Historical Studies at the university and upon his retirement, became University Professor of Politics and Society Emeritus.

Closely associated with the British Marxist school of history, Hobsbawm contributed substantially to the discipline; his scholarship ranged from the history of capitalism, labor, and the French Revolution to nationalism, the "invention of traditions," and imperialism. The final volume of his acclaimed "Ages" tetralogy, The Age of Extremes, 1914–1991 (Pelham Books, 1994), was based on lectures he gave at The New School. Both a witness to and interpreter of history, Hobsbawm was born in Egypt, fled Berlin for London during the rise of the Nazis, and served in the Royal Engineers and Royal Army Educational Corps during World War II. He was a bold, committed public intellectual and historian whose convictions and intellectual rigor provide an enduring example for scholars at The New School and elsewhere around the world.

David E. Van Zandt
President, The New School

Michael Schober
Dean, The New School for Social Research

Published on from Oct. 4 to Oct. 5, 2012