In this article Hobsbawn discusses grassroot history, or the history of the common people. Much of history, especially older history, is about the leaders, the elite of society. Hobsbawn believes that it is important to study the common people, however, he also acknowledges the complications of studying this history. Every history has its difficulties, however, the ones associated with grassroots history are somehwat unique to it.
His first critique is that historians read into history what they want. It is extremely difficult to look at the information available and come to a conclusion. So when studying this history, historian come up with a hypothesis and then look at history to see if it supports the hypothesis. This can sometimes be difficult to tell for mutiple reasons. One is that grassroots history takes a long time to come together and interpret. Another is that not all evidence available is completely reliable. Oral history is a very big part of some cultures, however, oral history is subjext to change, making it less reliable.
Every study of history comes with its own difficulties. Grassroots history began as a later movement as historians began to realize the importance of the common people. Hobsbawn discusses the importance of grassroots history and the problems associated with it.