In this collection of illuminating, incisive and thought-provoking essays, Eric Hobsbawm examines every aspect of the issues that have inspired the greatest debate - not only among politicians, academics and commentators but among all of us - in recent years: that is, the effects of globalisation, the plight of democracy and the threat of terrorism. As we are only too aware, all of these have the power to affect our daily lives, from the state of our economies to the fear of murderous bomb attacks in our cities. Hobsbawm discusses war and peace in our lifetime, problems of public order, anarchy and terrorism, nationalism and the changing nature of the nation-state, and the future prospects for democracy, setting out the historical background and the lessons it can offer us. Above all, he turns his piercing gaze to the Middle East and Western imperialism. Engaging, erudite and demonstrating his characteristically firm grasp of the facts and statistics, Hobsbawm's essays are indispensable to our understanding of the world we live in.
Eric Hobsbawm was born in Alexandria in 1917 and educated in Vienna, Berlin, London and Cambridge. A distinguished historian, he is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, with honorary degrees from universities in several countries.