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The Age of Extremes

1914-1991
Narrated by: Hugh Kermode
Length: 25 hrs and 39 mins
Categories: History, Europe
4.6 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Summary

The Age of Extremes is eminent historian Eric Hobsbawm's personal vision of the 20th century. Remarkable in its scope, and breathtaking in its depth of knowledge, this immensely rewarding book reviews the uniquely destructive and creative nature of the troubled 20th century and makes challenging predicitions for the future.

©1994 Eric Hobsbawm (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

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The Best 20th Century Summary

Hobsbawm manages to pull apart and lay out every important event, idea or organisation from the 20th century in an easily digestible way. The nuance in his critique of political movements and organisations is also surprisingly refreshing. Deviating from a lot of other historians who treated post WW2 politics as "the end of ideology", Hobsbawm perfectly summarises the rise and fall of various political beliefs and ideologies during this period, laying out summary of neoliberalism in the later chapters which was extremely ahead of its time. His nuance in examination of left wing politics is also some of the best in almost any history book I've read. This is a read which has changed how I view the world and the forces that shape it, and given me a much greater understanding of how those forces interact. Kermodes performance is a great mix of sensible and slow-paced, perfect for soaking in stories and information while multi-tasking.

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Horribly boring

Writing is unbearably tedious and uninteresting. Narrator is fine but since he’s reading such a boring book, there isn’t much he can do to save it.