Biography of author:„ Eric Hobsbawm was born into a Jewishfamily in 1927 to an Austrian mother British Father.When Hitler came into power in 1933, they moved to England. Heexperienced the rise of fascism in Vienna and Berlin. His political stance andhistoriography were likely affected by this cosmopolite background. In 1994during an interview he claimed that if the Soviet Union had succeeded increating a true communist society, it would have been worth the deaths of thetwenty million people who perished under Stalin. Additionally, he never deniedStalin’s truculence and never criticized Stalin for being a nationalist.
But itshould be remembered that he never chose to become a Zionist either. On theother hand, during another interview in 2002 he said; “In Germany there wasn’tany alternative left. Liberalism was failing. If I’d been German and not a Jew,I could see I might have become a Nazi, a German nationalist. I could see howthey’d become passionate about saving the nation.
It was a time when you didn’tbelieve there was a future unless the world was fundamentally transformed.”Hobsbawm also paid dearly for his Marxism in terms of a reportedly decade-longstymied career trajectory.”1 In the introduction, I would like to put some ideasof the book, because I consider it is important having a general attitude ofbook. Hobsbawm´s story is rich of examples of history ofalmost every nation, on the European continent (because he apparently believesthat it comes from here, and he doesn´t put in focus other regions).
But whatis interesting? He never mention the whole story, just part of it, presentingus the real picture of it; nationalism is incorrect, and more precisely,that ithas wicked verity. It show us the theorybehind, what actually makes a nationIn first chapter of his book, on so many pages heexplain that nation, actually, doesn´t have its nascency, which means that isrecent phenomenon. This is totally opposite the way how teaches us, and howhistorians, politicians talk about it. Verily, encouragement on nationalfeeling, depends from its coneption of being primordial. The beginnings ofnation are found in French Revolution, which would make modern nation-states andovercoming capitalism. Basically, this the period of upbuilding nation, whichpolitical element is more importantly than cultural, because it was important toovercome loyalities, standing on the way to progress.
Opposite to Anderson (which accomplishments mentionsin introduction of book), and his syntagm imaginedcommunity, ( the termin which Anderson himself never used like phrase of dissent), Hobsbawm argues thatthis syntagm tends ineffectively to fillthe emotional void left by the retreat or disintegration…of real humancommunities.2To better explain this, relationships we have to other nation and their membersat all, are conceived and developed- they are based on ideas. But what makes it(nation) so important from the view ofsocial and political movements, which would make a nationalism a force? Why andhow it overcame the imagination of masses? Answers relates to governments andtheir encourgments of nationalism and its directions accordingly their needs. Hemade a connection, which seems like a very good comparation, and good exampleof religious nationalism, a Russian nationalism, and the elements that fused init, were curch and holy icons. Icons, as Hobsbawm claim, are essential part ofnationalism, either religious or not.
…give a palpable reality to otherwise imaginary community.3He concludes, inducing supra-local bonds, andpolitical bonds, that proto-nationalism is neither satisfying neither needfulfor nationalism.Thenumber of national movements, with or without states, is patently much smallerthan the number of human groups capable of forming such movements by currentcriteria of potential nationhood, and certainly smaller than the number ofcommunities with a sense of belonging together in a manner which is hard to distinguishfrom proto-national.
4Hobsbawm´s directions of analysis, seems to me, areon the good way. He never talk more, that can be backed up with informationsand arguments. 1 https://nationalismstudies.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/eric-hobsbawm/2Eric Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalismsince 1780, Cambridge University Press, pg.463 Ibid,pg.
714 Ibid,pg. 77