Viva la revolución: A era das utopias na América Latina

Editora Companhia das Letras

Brilhante reunião de ensaios que retratam quarenta anos de interesse contínuo do grande historiador britânico pela América Latina. Após o triunfo de Fidel Castro em Cuba, em janeiro de 1959, e mais ainda após a tentativa fracassada de golpe dos americanos na Baía dos Porcos, dois anos depois, "não havia intelectual [de esquerda] na Europa ou nos Estados Unidos que não sucumbisse ao feitiço da América Latina, continente onde aparentemente borbulhava a lava das revoluções sociais", escreveu Eric Hobsbawm. Mas o caso do grande historiador britânico era especial: ele dizia que a América Latina era a única região do mundo, além da Europa, que conhecia bem e onde se sentia totalmente em casa. Membro do Partido Comunista da Grã-Bretanha desde seus dias de estudante na Universidade de Cambridge, Eric visitou Cuba no verão de 1960. Em 1962, passou três meses viajando entre Brasil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolívia e Colômbia. No Brasil, ficou chocado com o atraso econômico e a pobreza que encontrou, mas também reconheceu o "imenso" potencial dos trabalhadores do campo no Nordeste brasileiro, "aquela vasta área de cerca de 20 milhões de habitantes que deu ao país os seus mais famosos bandidos [e] revoltas camponesas".
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About the author

Eric Hobsbawm nasceu em Alexandria, em 1917, e estudou na Áustria, na Alemanha e na Inglaterra. Recebeu o título de doutor honoris causa de universidades de diversos países. Lecionou até se aposentar no Birkbeck College da Universidade de Londres e posteriormente na New School for Social Research de Nova York.
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Additional Information

Editora Companhia das Letras
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Published on
Sep 22, 2017
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History / Latin America / General
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Eric Hobsbawm is considered by many to be our greatest living historian. Robert Heilbroner, writing about Hobsbawm’s The Age of Extremes 1914-1991 said, “I know of no other account that sheds as much light on what is now behind us, and thereby casts so much illumination on our possible futures.” Skeptical, endlessly curious, and almost contemporary with the terrible “short century” which is the subject of Age of Extremes, his most widely read book, Hobsbawm has, for eighty-five years, been committed to understanding the “interesting times” through which he has lived.

Hitler came to power as Hobsbawm was on his way home from school in Berlin, and the Soviet Union fell while he was giving a seminar in New York. He was a member of the Apostles at King’s College, Cambridge, took E.M. Forster to hear Lenny Bruce, and demonstrated with Bertrand Russell against nuclear arms in Trafalgar Square. He translated for Che Guevara in Havana, had Christmas dinner with a Soviet master spy in Budapest and an evening at home with Mahalia Jackson in Chicago. He saw the body of Stalin, started the modern history of banditry and is probably the only Marxist asked to collaborate with the inventor of the Mars bar.

Hobsbawm takes us from Britain to the countries and cultures of Europe, to America (which he appreciated first through movies and jazz), to Latin America, Chile, India and the Far East. With Interesting Times, we see the history of the twentieth century through the unforgiving eye of one of its most intensely engaged participants, the incisiveness of whose views we cannot afford to ignore in a world in which history has come to be increasingly forgotten.

From the Hardcover edition.
In there four incisive and keenly perceptive essays, one of out most celebrated and respected historians of modern Europe looks at the world situation and some of the major political problems confronting us at the start of the third millennium.

With his usual measured and brilliant historical perspective, Eric Hobsbawm traces the rise of American hegemony in the twenty-first century. He examines the state of steadily increasing world disorder in the context of rapidly growing inequalities created by rampant free-market globalization. He makes clear that there is no longer a plural power system of states whose relations are governed by common laws--including those for the conduct of war. He scrutinizes America's policies, particularly its use of the threat of terrorism as an excuse for unilateral deployment of its global power. Finally, he discusses the ways in which the current American hegemony differs from the defunct British Empire in its inception, its ideology, and its effects on nations and individuals.

Hobsbawm is particularly astute in assessing the United States' assertion of world hegemony, its denunciation of formerly accepted international conventions, and its launching of wars of aggression when it sees fit. Aside from the naivete and failure that have surrounded most of these imperial campaigns, Hobsbawm points out that foreign values and institutions--including those associated with a democratic government--can rarely be imposed on countries such as Iraq by outside forces unless the conditions exist that make them acceptable and readily adaptable.

Timely and accessible, On Empire is a commanding work of history that should be read by anyone who wants some understanding of the turbulent times in which we live.

From the Hardcover edition.
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