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Historian Eric Hobsbawm passes away

By Prasun Sonwalkar
October 01, 2012 17:50 IST
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Eric Hobsbawm, one of the most eminent British historians who closely followed the fluctuating fortunes of the Left movement in India and influenced many Indian scholars over decades, died in London at the age of 95 on Monday.

Hobsbawm's works included the widely read and referenced books on world history, titled 'The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789-1848', 'The Age of Capital; 1848- 1875', 'The Age of Empire: 1875-1914', and 'The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991'.

A lifelong Marxist, Hobsbawm last visited India in 2005, when he met several people, including CPM leaders, at a luncheon hosted by K Natwar Singh, former minister for external affairs.

During a meeting with Communist Party of India leader Sitaram Yechury in London in November 2011, he expressed the desire to visit India again, age permitting. Hobsbawm was keen on the volumes being brought out by the CPM on the history of India's communist movement.

Hobsbawm participated in a conference at the University of Cambridge held in memory of noted Marxist historian Victor Kiernan in October 2010, which was also attended by CPM leader Prakash Karat and JNU professor Jayati Ghosh.

Hobsbawm's family said that he died early on Monday at the Royal Free Hospital in London. His daughter Julia said he was suffering from pneumonia.

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Prasun Sonwalkar in London
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