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Book cover for Bandits
January 2024


By Eric Hobsbawm
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'An utterly fascinating book' ― NEW YORKER

'Fizzing with ideas and strange stories' ― 

'A wise as well as an exciting book ... this is human history at its very best' ― 

This is a fascinating study of the spectacular exploits of robbers and outlaws from Robin Hood to Jesse James. First published in 1969, the book inspired a new field of historical study. Bandits are the robbers and outlaws who are not regarded by public opinion as simple criminals, but rather as champions of social justice, as avengers or as primitive resistance fighters.

Whether Balkan haiduks, Indian dacoits or Brazilian congaceiros, their spectacular exploits have been celebrated and preserved in story and myth. Some are known only to their fellow countrymen; others like Rob Roy, Robin Hood and Jesse James are famous throughout the world. 

This substantially extended and revised new edition was published in 2001.

Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm (1917–2012) was a British Marxist and one of the UK's best-known and most influential historians. His books include the trilogy about what he called the "long 19th century" (The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789–1848, The Age of Capital: 1848–1875 and The Age of Empire: 1875–1914), and The Age of Extremes on the short 20th century.


Originally published by Little, Brown

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