Age of Extremes

The twentieth century was wealthy in events and outstanding personalities. In his e-book Age of Extremes, Eric Hobsbawm supplies an intensive review of what occurred during the Twentieth Century and the impression of those events on human improvement. According to Hobsbawm, the Twentieth Century was each the Age of Catastrophe and the time of the extraordinary economic growth – a posh sandwich of events and developments that changed the human society “more profoundly than another period of comparable brevity” (Hobsbawm, 1995).

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In the first two chapters of Age of Extremes, Eric Hobsbawm (1995) tries to judge the social and historic legacy of the Twentieth Century and creates a short picture of the events and accomplishments that occurred between 1914 and 1991.

The writer is confident that human society cannot distance itself from the events of the previous, because everyone on the globe, regardless of their life history and personal background, went through kind of comparable central experiences that affected all of them (Hobsbawm, 1995).

Hobsbawm (1995) traces the evolution of the Twentieth Century from the First World War, which marked “the breakdown of the western civilization of the nineteenth century” (p.

6). The western civilization was characterized by capitalist economic system, liberal constitutional construction, bourgeois image of the hegemonic class, and the glory of scientific, educational, technological, information, and ethical advance (Hobsbawm, 1995).

The many years following the start of the First World War have been the Age of Catastrophe: till the tip of WWII, the society stumbled from one calamity to another and lived at the edge of survival (Hobsbawm, 1995).

The failure of the major colonial empires and the financial disaster of unprecedented depth added their share of complexity to the state of world affairs (Hobsbawm, 1995). Hobsbawm (1995) believes that the victory of the Soviet Union over Hitler was some of the essential events of the Twentieth Century.

Without it, the entire Western world may have was set of variations on fascist themes (Hobsbawm, 1995). The rise of the socialist movements was the direct result of the weaknesses in the nineteenth-century bourgeois society (Hobsbawm, 1995). How and why the world threw itself into the Golden Age of capitalism between 1947 and 1973 remains certainly one of primary historical puzzles; however the Golden Age could not be infinite and the global disaster that followed affected all, irrespective of their political, social, and economic configurations (Hobsbawm, 1995).

The economic crisis gradually extended to cover political issues – the collapse of the Soviet Union produced an infinite zone of political uncertainty and destroyed the secure system of international relations (Hobsbawm, 1995). The economic and political uncertainties have been adopted by the moral and social disaster – the disaster of beliefs, which humans had used over the course of the Twentieth Century to win their battle over the nineteenth century’s ideology (Hobsbawm, 1995).

The century that had begun with unbelievable optimism and religion in the future ended with a bang and a whimper, leaving the society within the midst of the ethical, social, financial, and mental collapse (Hobsbawm, 1995). In Hobsbawm’s (1995) view, the Twentieth Century was the time of unprecedented achievements and dramatic failures. The cyclical nature of evolution resulted in steady instability and profound financial, social, and political shifts.

For many nations, the Twentieth Century turned the time of remarkable modifications and the start of the brand new period of uncertainty and chaos. Whether nations achieve resolving the prevailing controversies is dependent upon how nicely they’ll be taught the teachings of the previous and use correctly the historical, political, and ethical legacy of the stormy Twentieth Century. Conclusion The Twentieth Century was the time of unprecedented achievements and failures. The capitalization of the word combination “Twentieth Century” by Hobsbawm (1995) is not accidental.

The author feels that the Twentieth Century reflected a singular paradox: the triumph of the fabric values and their absolute rejection on the finish of the period. The century that had begun with unbelievable optimism and faith in the future ended with the deep disaster of the ethical and psychological ideologies, leaving humanity within the midst of the social, economic, cultural, and moral collapse. Whether international locations reach resolving the prevailing controversies is determined by how properly individuals can learn from the past and use wisely the historic, political, and moral legacy of the stormy Twentieth Century.