Australian Left Review

Article Title

Problems of Communist History


Eric Hobsbawm


WE ARE TODAY at the end of that historical epoch in the development of socialism which began with the collapse of the Second International in 1914 and the victory of the Bolsheviks in October 1917. This is therefore a suitable time to survey the history of the Communist Parties which were the characteristic and dominant forms of the revolutionary movement in this era. The task is difficult because Communist Party historiography has special complications, which will be considered below in connection with James Klugmann’s regrettable failure to overcome them1, but also for wider reasons.