Hobsbawm – On History

Hobsbawns writing focuses on what is considered to be “grassroots” history. Grassroots history is the somewhat rival to the great man approach to history. This style of focus looks at the individuals and laborers more than the nobility and leaders who held financial and political power. He considers the Great Man approach to history as “glorification” of individuals who probably don’t deserve it in his opinion.

Grassroots History is founded and built on the teachings of Marxism, where it looks at the proletariat, or working class individuals instead of the bourgeoisie, or upper class individuals. Hobsbawm claims this history revolves around the French Revolution and that it was a sort of grassroots moment, belonging in grassroots history. Historians who study grassroots history look at societies and their formation rather than fact. He claims that those who know grassroots history hold some form of advantage over other historians. Almost as if they have some sort of secret knowledge.

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