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Review: How to Change the World – Tales of Marx and Marxism – by Eric Hobsbawm

This is the second Hobsbawm book that I have tackled and I find him to be a detailed, erudite, intelligent author and his obvious left-leaning politics readily assist him in compiling this study of Karl Marx and his work. The first part of the book looks directly at Marx’s work, specifically his writings with Engels. I’ve read the Communist Manifesto and faced a Marxist indoctrination in the social sciences whilst reading Geography at UCL in London. I like the revolutionary aspects of Marxism and do consider most of my day to day living to be quite Marxist in its constant desire to uproot society from the bottom up with a distant Utopian goal that is a fairer and more balanced society constantly in mind.
The second half of the book looks at the history of Marxism and its context in varied global ages. The Russian Revolution and Soviet Union are obviously important although for a lot of the book we look at Marxism in European socialist and communist parties. There are two chapters on Gramsci, the Italian who I must try and investigate further. Sometimes reading the book can get a bit tiring and it is very thorough in its detail. I’m going to tackle more Hobsbawm and would recommend this to anyone who wants an entry level understanding of Marxism.

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