He describes the suppression of the Warsaw rising in 1944, as "the penalty of premature risings", without mentioning that Stalin deliberately left the bourgeois Polish Home Army to its fate. Later on, he suggests that the great achievement of the Russian Revolution was to frighten Western capitalists into reform, completely neglecting the fact that more humane alternatives had been available long before the murderous utopianism of the communists appeared on the scene.
Despite or perhaps because of all this, the collapse of the Soviet Union did not much cramp Hobsbawm's style in The Age of the Extremes.
Hiding behind the death-bed words of the Polish socialist economist Oskar Lange, he once again denied that there was any alternative to the murderous brutalities of the Soviet system: "I wish I could say there was, but I cannot."
For Hobsbawm to have written anything else, of course, would have been to admit that the most persistently dangerous "extreme" of the 20th century had been his own.