Eric Hobsbawm, one of Britain's most eminent scholars and a leading Marxist historian of the world, has died at the age of 95.
His daughter Julia Hobsbawm said on Monday that her father died overnight at a London hospital. He had been suffering from pneumonia.
Hobsbawm's experience as a schoolboy in Germany in the 1930s, when he saw the rise of Hitler, cemented his left-wing views. He joined the Communist Party in England in 1936 and stayed a member for decades, though he became disillusioned with the Soviet Union. Hobsbawm was born into a Jewish family in Egypt in 1917, the year of the Bolshevik Revolution, and was brought up in Vienna and Berlin. In 1933, his family moved to England, London to be exact.
Eric Hobsbawm, one of Britain\'s most eminent scholars and a leading Marxist historian of the world, has died at the age of 95.
In 1962, Hobsbawm published the first of three volumes covering the "long 19th century," spanning the period 1789 to 1914. A later volume, "Age of Extremes," took the story forward to 1991.
His final book, "How to Change the World," appeared in 2011.
Hobsbawm studied at Kings College, Cambridge, and became a lecturer at Birkbeck University in 1947. It was to be a lifelong association and he ebecame the university's president.
Eric Hobsbawm became a fellow of the British Academy in 1978 and was awarded the companion of honour in 1998.
He is survived by his wife, Marlene, his daughter, Julia, and sons Andy and Joseph, and by seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Perhaps his greatest contribution to history is that he made European history easily accessible to millions of knowledge-hungry students across the world and specially those in third world classrooms. There is rarely a serious student of history in India who has not read "The Age of Empire" and "The Age of Revoution".
Eric Hobsbawm's departure lives a deep void in the intellectual left movement of Europe and the world.