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Eric Hobsbawm

Authored by: Roger Fagge

The Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138231160
eBook ISBN: 9781315315805
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315315805-32

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Abstract

Eric Hobsbawm was one of the most significant historians of his generation, and from early in his career he took an interest in jazz. He wrote for various journals, including the New Statesman, and he published the influential book The Jazz Scene in 1959. The latter argued that jazz was a unique cultural form that was both aesthetic and commercial, but had not been crushed by the market—an argument that challenged contemporary Marxist views of American popular culture. In this and his later writings Hobsbawm helped popularize the music, gave it intellectual credibility, and provided insights which are still relevant for jazz scholars and cultural historians.

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