This outstanding history describes and accounts for Britain's rise as the world's first industrial world power, its decline from the temporary dominance of the pioneer, its rather special relationship with the rest of the world (notably the underdeveloped countries) and the effects of all these on the life of the British people.
Eric Hobsbawm was born in 1917. Educated in Vienna, Berlin, London and Cambridge, he became a Fellow of the British Academy and has been showered with academic honours from around the world. He taught until retirement at Birkbeck College, University of London, and since then at the New School for Social Research in New York. His many books have been translated into several languages.