This is an economic History, so if you want an introduction to this period, this book is NOT the place to start. Read Durant's last two volumes ("Rousseau and Revolution" and "The Age of Napoleon", and/or Gordon A. Craig's "Europe: 1815-1914" if you're looking for details on who was in power, what battles were fought, what the main works of art were, etc.
But if you are curious about why and how the Industrial Revolution created so much hardship and how the French Revolution changed the European attitude toward revolution in general, this is the book to read. Hobsbawm is a well-known Marxist, but it was the events of this age that spawned Marxism, and it behooves us to understand why that was. For this purpose, you couldn't ask for a better guide.
Unfortunately, Hobsbawm is a moderately difficult read. Take it a little bit at a time.