BANDITS ERIC HOBSBAWM PDF

First published in , this now-classic book inspired a whole new field of historical study and brought its author popular acclaim. Bandits transcend the label of criminals; they are robbers and outlaws elevated to the status of avengers and champions of social justice. Others, like Balkan haiduks , Indian dacoits , and Brazilian congaceiros , are known only to their own countrymen. For this new edition Hobsbawm has substantially extended and revised his original text. It appears at a time when the disintegration of state power is once again introducing fertile conditions for banditry to flourish in many parts of the world. He is the author of The Age of

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The conservative Scottish historian Niall Ferguson was among those who praised him yesterday. Salles told me that, in interviews he conducted with Marcinho VP, he found a man who was a criminal but who expressed social views. He seemed to be someone who, given the circumstances, might even evolve into a political figure. He would never know what Marcinho VP might have become, however.

Eventually captured and thrown in prison, he was strangled to death in by his rivals. While I was in Rio on that trip, I met a gangster who had recently got out of prison, the same one Marcinho had been murdered in. The gangster asked me many questions about the book, as well as about Che Guevara. I was intrigued by his intellectual curiosity, and asked him how he defined himself. The gang he was a senior member of had been started in the nineteen-seventies by political prisoners, I noted, and its first manifesto had called for various forms of social justice.

He smiled and shook his head. But that was then. Hobsbawm was very much on my mind after that encounter. A couple of years later, I was able to meet the grand old man myself, at his house in London, for a cup of tea, followed by a glass of whiskey.

Hobsbawm was gracious, listening intently as I told my stories of the underworld of Brazil, and of other places. He was interested in Sri Lanka, a country with an old Marxist tradition in which I had recently spent time, and where a war had just ended, and also about Colombia, where a peasant-based rebel insurgency had carried—with both bandit and Marxist characteristics—for over half a century.

He was discreet as to his opinions, however, as I outlined how, in most of the cases I had encountered, it was the bandit, rather than the revolutionary, that was proving to be the stronger species. In the end, Hobsbawm was something of a romantic, and evinced an underlying faith in human nature. Perhaps, indeed, it was what lay at the roots of his Marxism. But it may give readers of the book some confidence that it is more than an exercise in antiquarianism or in academic speculation.

There are many of them. And they should know. In time, of course, the pendulum may swing back again. Eric Hobsbawm, rest in peace. Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. More: Eric Hobsbawm.

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Eric Hobsbawm’s ‘Bandits’

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Hobsbawm and the Bandits

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The conservative Scottish historian Niall Ferguson was among those who praised him yesterday. Salles told me that, in interviews he conducted with Marcinho VP, he found a man who was a criminal but who expressed social views. He seemed to be someone who, given the circumstances, might even evolve into a political figure. He would never know what Marcinho VP might have become, however. Eventually captured and thrown in prison, he was strangled to death in by his rivals. While I was in Rio on that trip, I met a gangster who had recently got out of prison, the same one Marcinho had been murdered in.

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