E. J. Hobsbawm (1917–2012) was a British historian. Born in Egypt, he was educated at Cambridge; he taught at Birkbeck College and The New School. His works include The Age of Extremes; Globalisation, Democracy and Terrorism; and On Empire.


The New Threat to History

The following lecture was given at the beginning of the academic year at the Central European University, which recently opened in Budapset. It is an honor to be asked to open this academic year of the Central European University. It is also a curious sensation to do so, since, though …

Escaped Slaves of the Forest

Alabi's World

by Richard Price
Shortly after settling in the conquered New World, Spaniards began to use the word cimarrón, of debated etymology, to describe imported European domestic animals that had escaped from control and reverted to natural freedom. For obvious reasons the term was also applied in slave societies to escaped slaves living in …

Some Like It Hot

The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930–1945

by Gunther Schuller

Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development

by Gunther Schuller
“It seems quite clear today in retrospect,” writes Gunther Schuller, who was at the time entering his teens, “that the Depression years and their aftermath were culturally and artistically the richest this nation has experienced in this century.” Probably many more people would today agree with this proposition than would …

The Caruso of Jazz

Sidney Bechet: The Wizard of Jazz

by John Chilton

Jazz Odyssey: The Autobiography of Joe Darensbourg

as told to Peter Vacher
He was the first among the players of the barely baptized “jazz” to be identified as “an artist of genius.” Very few jazz musicians are as well known as Sidney Bechet, especially among people not particularly familiar with the music. No one has a voice more easily and immediately recognizable.

Slyest of the Foxes

Duke Ellington

by James Lincoln Collier
Of the great figures in twentieth-century culture, Edward Kennedy Ellington is one of the most mysterious. On the evidence of James Lincoln Collier’s excellent book, he must also be one of the least likable—cold to his son, ruthless in his dealings with women, and unscrupulous in his use of the …

The Jazz Comeback

Sitting In: Selected Writings on Jazz, Blues and Related Topics

by Hayden Carruth

His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra

by Kitty Kelley
Until recently jazz has occupied a curiously marginal position in the official culture of its native country, and even within the black community. The public for it has been tiny: far smaller than the public for classical music. Record producers, who probably contain a much higher proportion of jazz buffs …