Eric Hobsbawm has just died. As the article below (1) says, he was a giant of the Left, with all the good and bad things that implies. He was a member of the Communist Party when Josef Stalin was still head of the world communist movement, and his view of history reflected this. He was soft on Soviet crimes such as the ‘Holodomor’, the deaths of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930′s.
Still, when he gave talks, he was not besieged by angry mobs trying to shut down the meeting for ‘Holodomor denial’.
David Irving might also be accused of allowing his politics to influence his view of history. For example, he has sometimes underestimated Nazi war crimes. When Irving speaks, he is besieged by angry mobs trying to shut down the meeting for ‘Holocaust denial’. Whereas Hobsbawm was a member of the movement responsible for the Holodomor, Irving has never been a member of the movement responsible for the Holocaust.
Why these two great historians are treated so differently I will leave as an exercise for the reader.
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/9602136/Eric-Hobsbawn-was-a-giant-of-the-Left-who-took-my-teenage-mind-to-task.html (note the consistent misspelling of Hobsbawm’s name)