Hobsbawm is a British Marxist historian who hated politicians. His work, History from Below, is a result of this dislike of history based around politicians or other well known figures. Hobsbawm main point is that historic literature and how history is studied needs to be about everyday people and their culture and society as a whole. He terms this “grass roots history”. This concept is the reason that Hobsbawm believes biographies are a poor method of telling history. They focus too much on one person, and that person is usually not an average mundane person, but someone of stature or status. It’s these regular people that make the context of an event significant, and unfortunately, according to Hobsbawn, we are not telling their stories, or narrating from the “grass roots” method at all. History from Below is a term for this “grass roots” method of history. My looking at things from the perception of the lower class, we can gain a better and more clear picture of history.
A downside to Hobsbawn’s looking at a larger group method, would be the danger of stereotyping and over generalizing said group. Where as the reality is that every person is individually different and that there may be many sub division’s within a large group, looking at a group of people for context may throw off the accuracy of what one is asserting, especially the larger the group is. Despite this Hobsbawn remains steadfast in his assertion that his proposed method of investigating and narrating history is the best option, and best way to fully understand the history of the subject as a whole.