What is Philipp Blom's thesis in "The Vertigo Years?" I have a book report to write, comparing it to "The Age of Empire" by Hobsbawm.The paper has to be on these 6 topics: -What is the background...

What is Philipp Blom's thesis in "The Vertigo Years?" I have a book report to write, comparing it to "The Age of Empire" by Hobsbawm.

The paper has to be on these 6 topics:

-What is the background of each author

-What is the main these or argument of each

-What does each book emphasize

-Does it place the right amount of emphasis on the right factors

-In what ways are the books differant or similar

-Which book provides the overall best explanation for the key developments in European history for years leading up to 1914.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question is too long to be addressed here in eNotes, but I will give you what I see as the main thesis of each book.

What they have in common is that they are trying to explain what things were like in Europe in the years leading up to World War I (say from 1900 to 1914).  Both say that these were times of uncertainty.  But they have different ideas of why the times were uncertain.

Hobsbawm (who was Marxist) argues that the uncertainty came from economics, specifically capitalism.  He said that capitalism made some people's standards of living rise faster than others'.  This caused uncertainty and discontent among those who didn't do as well.

Blom, by contrast, argues that the uncertainty was more intellectual and cultural.  He points out that the British were uncertain because their empire appeared to be losing strength and cohesion.  And he points out that new scientific and cultural/moral ideas were being presented.  These things made people feel less certain about how their futures would play out.

Good luck with the rest of this!