Past Events

Past EventsThursday, March 2

Marx for the 21st Century: Jacques Attali, Eric Hobsbawm

Jacques Attali
Eric Hobsbawm
Chair: John Kampfner

Radio 4 listeners recently voted Karl Marx the greatest philosopher of all time – a decision with which historian Eric Hobsbawm would not disagree. He discussed here Marx’s stature and legacy with Jacques Attali, first president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the institution created to ease the transition to capitalism of East European countries. Attali has just published a book explaining why Marx was a visionary prophet and “one of the giants of modern thought.”

Jacques Attali is an eminent economic advisor. From 1981 to 1991 he was special advisor to François Mitterrand and in 1990 he became president of the EBRD. Now, he is chairman of A&A, an international consultancy company and the founder and president of PlaNet Finance, an international non-profit organisation that uses the internet to combat poverty concentrating onthe microfinance sector. He is a prolific and eclectic author of essays, his latest a biography of Marx.

Eric Hobsbawm is one of Britain’s most celebrated historians. He came to the UK from Germany in 1933 as a fifteen year old orphan. Multilingual and steeped in the culture and history of Central Europe, he is to this day an “unrepentant communist”. His trilogy charting the rise of capitalism - The Age of RevolutionThe Age of Capital and The Age of Empire - became a defining work of the "long 19th century", from 1789 to 1914. The Age of Extremes, translated into 37 languages, covered the "short 20th century", from WW1 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. His most recent book is his autobiography Interesting Times.

John Kampfner is Editor of the New Statesman. He is the author of Blair's Wars.  He won the Foreign Press Association award for Film of the Year and Journalist of the Year for his two-parter on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, called 'The Ugly War'. John is a regular pundit for all channels on politics and foreign affairs.He used to be Chief Political Correspondent at the FT and political commentator for the BBC's Today programme.

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