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GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:Marc Bloch/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Midnightblueowl (talk · contribs) 11:56, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

Looks set to be a fascinating article, and one with interesting parallels to other articles I have worked on. Happy to take this review on. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:56, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

On the IntroductionEdit

  • Well written and generally good. However, I do think that it is excessively lengthy (WP:LEADLENGTH). On my browser at least, it runs for 26 lines, which is two more than FA-rated articles on major historical figure like Nelson Mandela and Vladimir Lenin. Accordingly, I think that a bit of trimming is in order; there are details here that aren't needed at this juncture, such as his mother's name, and some of the language is unduly flowery for this venue (although I do enjoy the style chosen and it would go very well in other venues). For example "World War II broke out three years later and once again Bloch volunteered" is a long way of saying "He fought in World War II". When it comes to the lead article, brevity is desirable. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:39, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I would also suggest that the opening paragraph, at six lines, is perhaps a bit too long and might be off-putting to some readers; I always think it better to ease them in with a shorter paragraph that provides the most important information. For instance, rather than give his parents names and childhood at this juncture, I would list which institutions he worked for and I would certainly mention that he was the founder of the Annales school, which is perhaps the singular most important point here. I would also use this point to stipulate what areas of history he specialised in. I would recommend looking at the articles for V. Gordon Childe and Margaret Murray, both of which look at scholars broadly contemporary with Bloch (and in Childe's case possibly of equal importance to him) and both of which are FA rated: the text in the Bloch articles could usefully be moved around and trimmed a little bit to look more like those examples. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:39, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • The University of Paris is mentioned but not Wikilinked. The same goes for the university at Berlin which he attended; and the University of Montpellier too. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:39, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • There are various words in here, like "historiographical" and "hagiographical", which are probably a bit too specialist for most readers. It's always difficult to get the balance between dumbing something down too much and ensuring that it is accessible to as many people as possible, but in instances like this, I think it best to err on the side of caution. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:39, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • You don't actually mention that Bloch was Jewish; I'd say that that is pretty crucial, because it helps to explain why he was so affected by the anti-Semitism that he encountered in France. It might be best to specify that he was Ashkenazi too; the Noam Chomsky page for example does this. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:39, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • By "geography sociology" do you mean geography and sociology, or is this a reference to some sort of hybrid field? Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:39, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I might suggest something along the following lines as a more concise summary (feel free to adapt or change as you see fit):
Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch (/blɒk/; French: [maʁk blɔk]; 6 July 1886 – 16 June 1944) was a French historian. A founding member of the Annales School of French social history, he specialised in the field of medieval history and published widely on Medieval France over the course of his career. As an academic, he worked at the University of Strasbourg (1920 to 1936), the University of Paris (1936 to 1939), and the University of Montpellier (1941 to 1944).
Born in Strasbourg to an Alsatian Jewish family, Bloch was raised in Paris, where his father—the classical historian Gustave Bloch—worked at Sorbonne University. Bloch was educated at various Parisian lycees and the École Normale Supérieure, and from an early age was affected by the anti-semitism of the Dreyfus affair. During the First World War, he served in the French Army and fought at the First Battle of the Marne and the Somme. After the war, he was awarded his doctorate in 1918 and gained employment as a lecturer at the University of Strasbourg. There, he formed an intellectual partnership with modern historian Lucien Febvre. Together they founded the Annales School and began publishing the Annales d'histoire économique et sociale journal in 1929. Bloch was a modernist in his historiographical approach, and repeatedly emphasised the importance of a multidisciplinary engagement towards history, particularly blending his research with that on geography, sociology and economics, which was his subject when he was offered a post at the University of Paris in 1936.
During the Second World War Bloch volunteered for service, becoming responsible for the French Army's fuel supplies during the Phoney War. Involved in the Battle of Dunkirk and spending a brief amount of time in Britain, he unsuccessfully attempted to secure passage to the United States. Back in France, where his ability to work was curtailed by new anti-Semitic regulations, he worked in Montpellier until November 1942 when Germany invaded Vichy France. Bloch then joined the French Resistance, acting predominantly as a courier and translator. In 1944, he was captured in Lyon and executed by firing squad. Several works—including influential studies like The Historian's Craft and Strange Defeat—were published posthumously.
Both as a result of his historical studies and his death as a member of the Resistance, Bloch was highly regarded by generations of post-war French historians and came to be called "the greatest historian of all-time". By the end of the 20th century, historians were making a more sober assessment of Bloch's abilities, influence, and legacy, arguing that there were flaws to his approach.
  • Great to see you here Midnightblueowl, I was hoping for a heavy-calibre review :)
    The problem—mine, not yours—with LEADLENGTH is the slightly vague #paras criteria. In this particular case, and as the guideline only goes up to 30,000 characters, I kind of assumed that more would be required for—err—over 70,000. And it also depends on the lengths of said paras too I expect. Having said that though, your examples are sound: I see that both Mandela and V.I. far outrank Bloch in character length, so I'm bound to agree with you. I like the way you've basically rewritten the lead for me ("no problem whatsoever"!); can I—per WP:ATT—basically just use that?
    Thanks again for getting stuck in here MBO. ——SerialNumber54129 12:42, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Do feel free to play around with my text; the third and fourth paragraphs could even be expanded with additional information (for instance, the fourth paragraph could have a few words on the impact of the Annales School). I just wanted to provide a guide as to the sort of thing that I think would convey the same information to the reader in the most concise way. It's a model for structuring the lead that I've picked up from others and have always found to be extremely useful; it tends to go down well at FAC too. Midnightblueowl (talk) 13:16, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
  • @Midnightblueowl: Well; I added a little, but tbh the lead is already my weak spot I'm afraid: I think it's because, if summary style is bad enough, sumary of a summary is worse! ——SerialNumber54129 13:39, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
By the way, re. "geography sociology", I added a comma^^^ so you can see what I mean (if that's OK to do). ——SerialNumber54129 12:44, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
Ah, makes sense. Midnightblueowl (talk) 13:16, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

On Youth and upbringingEdit

  • This is quite a lot of text in one section; it might help to put in some subsections. That's not in any way a prerequisite for GA, but it's a thought. It might be good to put his childhood in one sub-section and his military service and the events after it in another. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:07, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
"the historian Carole Fink".
  • "It was an academic, not a religious, household." I think that this creates a false division; plenty of academics were, and are, religious. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:07, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
I removed it, as it was extraordinarilly difficult to rephrase, and the run-on sentence expresses the same princliple much more soundly.
  • "the generation that would aggressively challenge it",[6] such as the Boulangists and the Panama scandals in the last decade of the nineteenth century." I'm not sure if the wording quite works here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:07, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Removed, reworked, and put into a footnote.
  • "French society was split over whether Dreyfus had sold French military secrets to Germany.[" - Although the Dreyus affair itself had been mentioned, Dreyfus himself hadn't, so this sentence comes a little out of the blue. We could expand on this by giving more information about Dreyfus himself, but I'd suggest just getting rid of this short sentence. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:07, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Done; that would work, but would be even more tangential I think.
  • The "École normale supérieure (ENS)" is introduced in this manner twice. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Removed the entire first mention as it didn't fit in a section primarily regarding his family, and which is in any case repeated in the following paragraph.
  • "almost inevitably," - not really the sort of language one usually finds at Wikipedia. Probably best to be rid of it. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Rm editorialising.
  • "as his father's contemporary the sociologist Émile Durkheim who pre-empted Bloch's" - there needs to be some commas in here, probably after "contemporary" and "Durkheim". Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
  • "although the Entente Cordiale had recently been announced, he later recalled being struck more by the number of homeless he saw on the Victoria Embankment than the new relationship between the two countries". This could probably be shortened. How about something like "he later recalled being struck more by the number of homeless people on the Victoria Embankment than the new Entente Cordiale relationship between the two countries"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Excellent, thnks very much! Half-inched.
Of course, done.
  • "The 46th Infantry Regiment" - do we have a link? 18:26, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
We do now!—written halfway through this :)
  • " In Bloch's own specialty of history," - Maybe just "In history"; the reader should be aware that Bloch was a historian by this point. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
  • "Davies notes" - who is Davies? To be honest, this whole part of the sentence could probably be removed. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Sacked Davis.
  • Probably don't need to italicise Fondation Thiers, as it is a noun. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Good pointer, thanks.
  • "and religion[20] under" - do we know if he studied religious studies or theology? Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Lyon just limits himsef to "religio"; I migght have a hunt around tomorrow for some more specifics on this.
  • "His studies of this period formed Bloch into a mature scholar" - perhaps a subjective assessment; it might be best to attribute this statement to Fink specifically. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:26, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Thank you; "..., suggests Carole Fink,..."?
Ditto, "the historian Bruce..."
@Midnightblueowl: thanks very much for those suggestions. ——SerialNumber54129 20:23, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
Hi Midnightblueowl, is everything OK with you? ——SerialNumber54129 17:24, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
@Serial Number 54129: My sincere apologies for the delay on this. I really haven't found much time for Wikipedia this month. Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:10, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
@Midnightblueowl: No problem whatsoever: its a big article and your reviews are thorough. I hope it's nothing serious though? Be assured you can take all the time you need, I was just keeping in touch! ——SerialNumber54129 15:19, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
Nothing serious, just having to juggle a lot of 'real life' bits and bobs at the moment, leaving me with comparatively little 'free time' for Wikipedia editing. 15:28, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

On First World WarEdit

  • "towards the Marne" - worth a Wikilink. Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:26, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Linked.
  • "where Bloch took advantage of the stop to swim in the river" - this is trivia that we could probably do without. Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:26, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Removed.
  • "first battle of the Marne," - should this be "First Battle of the Marne"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:26, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
    • I guess so; although I wouldn't instinctively use title-case in a sentence.
  • "which Bloch viewed as a rustic delight" - perhaps we could reword this somehow. "rustic delight" doesn't quite fit with the general tone of Wikipedia. 15:26, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
    • I tried; but frankly it adds so little to our picture that I ended up removing it.
  • "the moniker "The hairy"" - probably just "the moniker "the hairy"". Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:26, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Done.
      • This would be much better handled by using the French word directly. The wiki article Poilu, while a little weak in the literal translation department - the word is a closer to (animal) fur than (human) hair - covers the figurative meaning, which is what the quote was meant to convey, a good deal better. Qwirkle (talk) 12:21, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "However, says Daniel Hochedez," … "Rees Davies" - who are these people? If they are historians we best make that clear. Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:26, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Adjectivised.
  • "and, indeed, influenced" - just "and influenced", for Wikipedia. Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:26, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Lost indeed.
  • "not only sparse but on the rare occasions that he mentioned them, sardonic" - ow about just "sparse and sardonic"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:26, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Tweaked.
  • "A discontinuous series of images, vivid in themselves, but badly arranged, like a reel of motion picture film containing some large gaps and some reversals of certain scenes." - no need to have this indented separately from the main prose. It is sufficiently short that it could be merged into the paragraph above. 15:26, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
    • And merged.
  • "A scan of the French Department of War's official bestowing" - We probably don't need to tell the reader that the image is "a scan". They presumably know that it isn't the real thing that is staring at them from their screen. (It brings to mind Ceci n'est pas une pipe). Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:26, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Done.
Many thanks for these points, Midnightblueowl—I addressed them with this edit. Hope RL keeping you well! 2A02:C7F:BE3E:4200:EC2E:73EE:6345:487C (talk) 12:15, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay, Midnightblueowl, I've been "AFK" for a couple of weeks. Cheers! ——SerialNumber54129 14:01, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

Comment (Dunno if this should belong here, or separate from the GAR, move as needed.) “Section” is a “false friend” in French. To most English speakers, it implies something like an oversized squad, but to a Frenchman, it is what others would see as a platoon.

The article is suggesting a zig-zag promotion: up to (commissioned, by default), officer, down to warrant, up to captain. Again, I’d suggest cognate words with different meanings.

Poilu is a word with layers of meaning. It implied peasant toughness, rurality, the blue-colar virtues rather than the white. It did not imply a stereotypical intellectual. Use of it for Bloch meant that he was accepted as “one of the guys” as well as respected as one of the educated. It’s also not quite literally hairy; but rather furry, with all that implies. Qwirkle (talk) 10:14, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

@Qwirkle:, Truly I appreciate your input, and, indeed, you are probably correct; but unfortunately, that is original research, unless you have a reliable source that puts the phrase into that particular context. However, without it, the material should (=will) stay in: it is sourced material, and, in fact, is specifically sourced to MB's captain, not just Hochindez speaking generally. Re. "12 metres away", I agree that that is not in the cited source; it comes from Fink's introduction to MB's Memoires de guerre. I will insert this citation next time I restore the hairy material :) ——SerialNumber54129 09:54, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Leaving aside the question of whether everything that can be sourced must be used, even if it is rather obviously wrong, using a single translation not widely commented on by people both knowledgeable of the subject matter and bilingual can be every bit as much synthesis. What is showing up here is not, in fact, a translation, but a transliteration, and the acceptance of such is itself, obviously, a form of new first publication...i.e, WP:OR.

Using a quote intended for an audience with a particular shared experience to a group without the background required is, in fact, a form of tacit synthesis. The writer is assuming that the reader can take in certain unwritten meanings from it by osmosis, or that those meanings don’t matter.

To get to the particulars here, Poilu was not necessarily a personal nickname of Bloch’s in the original source. Indeed, to Bloch’s captain, and almost all Frenchmen (many English, and a considerable swatch of Germans, Americans, and so on,) it was a word that applied equally to several million men. To use a parallel from the US and WWII, finding a source that said someone “had earned the right to be called a ‘dogface’ by his actions” would not imply that was his personal nickname. Qwirkle (talk) 12:12, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Looking at some of the sources which describe Bloch as the oldest reserve officer in the French Army, I’d suggest this is, while sourceable, patently untrue, and appears to trace back to an offhand comment of Bloch’s meant as humour, not fact. Qwirkle (talk) 01:01, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
OK, cheers Qwirkle you can use that to tank the FAC, if you like. Hope all's well! ——SerialNumber54129 12:21, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

On the Career sectionEdit

  • This is a very long single section without breaks so I would definitely suggest putting in some sub-sections here just to carve it up into smaller, more digestible chunks. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
I've broken it into three subsections—I think they're pretty self-contained, although disagreement would be welcome, I might be too close to the material to see an obvious breakpoint.
That structuring works, in my view. Although I would divide up some of those very lengthy paragraphs. I think that readers are more likely to actually read shorter chunks of text. Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:48, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • "what George Huppert" - might be worth saying "what the historian George Huppert" or something like that. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Agree, absolutely per false titles.
  • "His fundamental views on the nature and purpose " - previous sentences have discussed both Febvre and Bloch, so it might be best to start this sentence with "Bloch's fundamental views" so that the reader is clear on who is being discussed. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
  • "to have a deliberate perspective" - I wonder if this could be rephrased, or perhaps expanded, to make its meaning clearer. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
I know what you mean; is "...the only academic journal to boast a preconceived perspective" an improvement?
I've not sure about "boast"... "express"? Something like that. Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:48, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • "He did remain a strong supporter in the background, however" - this could just be "He remained a strong supporter, however". Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
  • "and in doing so says Fink, became" - we probably need a comma after "so" here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
  • "And while he was" - I'd scrap the "And" here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Of course, done.
  • "says Eugen Weber" - add a brief few words explaining who he is; also Wikilink his name on the first appearance - the link presently appears on about the third or fourth mention. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
I've sorted the link: once in the lead and at first mention. I've resorted to the by-now traditional "the historian", but is Weber of such calibre that a further descriptor is in order?
I think "the historian" should do the trick okay. Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:48, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • "although this cannot have been an over-riding fear as Bloch's next appointment indicated" - I think that we best qualify this as being someone's specific opinion rather than being objective fact. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Absolutely, and a welcome opportunity to link to Larry Epstein, RIP. ——SerialNumber54129 19:48, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
  • "was by now the most significant French historian of his age." - Again, a subjective assessment worth attributing to a specific individual rather than being presented as fact. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Ditto, in fact!
  • "Bloch was increasingly opposed to Febvre over the direction he wished to take the journal" - "Febvre increasingly opposed the direction Bloch wanted to take the journal"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Nicked that.
@Midnightblueowl: any thanks for these suggestions; as ever. I've actioned all these, although feel free to critique. On a merely stylistic note, re. this page, I hope you don't mind, but I've changed your sections headers to level 3s—just that the page is chunky enough now for me to want the short cuts! I hope you don't mind—revert if you prefer how it was. Thanks again! ——SerialNumber54129 19:48, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Alright, Midnightblueowl! *poke* :) ——SerialNumber54129 20:35, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
Hello! Oops, sorry for the delay. Will get onto it now. Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:44, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • It might be worth moving the image of Febvre over to the right hand side. That way, Febvre is looking at the text rather than away from it, and it doesn't get in the way of the "Move to Paris" sub-title. Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:48, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd definitely divide up some of those really thick, chunky paragraphs. They'll put some readers off, whereas obviously we want to encourage readers to make their way through the whole thing. Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:49, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
    • Cheers, Midnightblueowl—I've moved Febvre to the right, readjusting some quote boxes on the wa; I've also gone through and split up (hopefully all) the outsized paragraphs. Also managed to make a new section too, which breaks in up further. I wonder if more images are needed? 14:58, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

On the Second World War sectionEdit

  • "army [103]—Bloch" - there's a minor spacing issue here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:28, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Right.
  • "was mobilized for the third time[46] as a fuel supply officer.[104]" - There might be a crucial comma missing here. Was Bloch "mobilized for the third time as a fuel supply officer" or "mobilized for the third time, as a fuel supply officer"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:28, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Comma'd.
  • "approached the first war" - First World War? Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:28, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Yes, of course.
  • "Carole Fink says as a result of the discrimination he believed that he had recently faced, " - this is a bit clunky, I'd reword this. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:28, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    • How about Instead, Carole Fink suggests that because Bloch felt himself to have been discriminated against, he had "begun to distance himself intellectually and emotionally from his comrades and leaders"?
  • "to 1st Army headquarters" - to the 1st Army headquarters? Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:28, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Definitely articled.
  • "Much of the period 1939–May 1940 saw Bloch frankly bored" - "Bloch was largely bored between 1939 and May 1940?" or something like that. Scrap the "frankly". Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:28, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Absolutely, done.
  • "although this may well have been on account of the difficulties he had in obtaining the necessary visas" - this could be trimmed down. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:28, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    • How about He refused,[113] possibly because of difficulties in obtaining visas
  • I'd break up the first sub-section of this section into two; it's rather long and I think having an additional sub-section title in here might make it more appealing for readers. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:29, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Good idea. The end of the Phoney War and beginning of hostilities suggests itself: L3 section for "The fall of France"?
Thanks again, Midnightblueowl, on avance! :) ——SerialNumber54129 12:35, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
Sup Midnightblueowl :) ——SerialNumber54129 15:43, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Hello! Will get to this in about an hour or so; apologies for the delay. Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:44, 17 March 2019 (UTC)


  • I'd move the image of the plaque down slightly, so that the top of it aligns with the paragraph below. It just makes it look a tad neater. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes it does—done.
  • "He felt, though, that the army, of which he was once again a part, lacked the esprit de corps, a " fervent fraternity",[10] of the army of the first war." I'd say that there are too many commas here. "He felt that the French Army lacked the esprit de corps or "fervent fraternity" of the French Army in the First World War."? Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • "blindly following in the same way as Joseph Joffre had in the first war." - I'm not really sure what this means. Could you possibly rephrase? Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • How about as behaving as unimaginitively as Joseph Joffre had...?
  • "Bloch saw France's collapse as the overrunning of the best qualities mankind possessed—character and intelligence" - is "overrunning" the best word here? I'm not really sure what it means. I'd also switch the androcentric "mankind" for "humanity" (sorry for being pedantic!). Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Suggest To Bloch, France collapsed because her generals failed to capitalise on the best qualities humanity possessed—character and intelligence—because of their own "sluggish and intractable" progress...?
  • "pre-eminence in the field which he was known for" could just be "pre-eminence in the field of history" or something. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Thanks!
  • "which had by then been in decline" - "which was in decline"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Again, taken.
  • "and more importantly, not allow France's intellectual life to end." - "and to keep France's intellectual life alive"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Ditto!
  • "Bloch, however, " - I'd scrap this "however". Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Removed.
  • "André Burguière suggest" - who is he? Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Added non-false title.
  • "did not understand fundamentally the position Bloch, or any French Jew, was in" - I'd scrap "fundamentally"; although it you wanted to retain some emphasis, "understand" might become "really understand"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • I've gone with your wording, although was tempted wby "Febvre fundamentally misunderstood the position..."
  • "Bloch's and Febvre's relationship declined further when Bloch had been forced" - maybe "Bloch" should be "the former", to avoid repetition? Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Done.
  • "more to have prevented it" - "more to prevent it." Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • "Bronisław Geremek suggests " - who?
    • Added non-false title.
  • In November 1942, as part of an operation known as Case Anton, the German Army crossed the demarcation line and occupied the territory previously under direct Vichy rule.[114]" This should be merged into the paragraph below; best to avoid solitary sentences when there are opportunities to combine them with paragraphs. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the advice, it now opens the next section nicely.
  • "Main article: French Resistance" - I'd scrap this. This isn't really the "main article" here (a main article would be on "Bloch in the French Resistance) and we already link to French Resistance in the text itself. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Got you.
  • "He had already written that" - the "He" here being Bloch, rather than Burguière, I take it? Both are mentioned in the preceding sentence. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Clarified Bloch.
  • "Although he knew[…] Although the Resistance" is a bit repetitive. Best change one of them. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • "heavily among University lecturers" - de-capitalise "University" here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Decap'd.
  • "in exasperation to Simonne" - who is Simonne? They haven't been introduced in the article at this point. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Well, she's mentioned at the very end of the "Joins the Sorbonne section" earlier, but I've clarified there that she's his wife which should mae more sense later on.
  • "François Dosse quotes" - who?
    • Added non-false title.
  • "and materiel," - should this be "material"? Or is this a specific French term? Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • No, is very English :) have now wikilinked to materiel.
  • "Georges Altman later" - who?
    • Added non-false title.
  • I'd merge the solitary sentence here into the paragraph above. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Done.
  • "at the Place de Pont, Lyon". No need to italicise place-names, even if they are in non-English languages. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the heads up, straightened.
  • "caught bronchopneumonia.[1]and fell " - this needs cleaning up. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Yes, lots of spaces and no spaces where they shouldn't be! Tweaked.
  • "keen to evacuate following the invasion" - the invasion was just mentioned before so "following the invasion" can be removed here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Rm.
  • "as being "a stranger" - I'd cut "being" here as it already appears not long before. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Rm.
  • "the Resistance believing it" - there needs to be a comma here after "Resistance". Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Comma'd.
  • Many thanks, Midnightblueowl, I addressed your suggestions with this edit. Apologies...I also forgot about it for a while! Better late than never :) Cheers, ——SerialNumber54129 17:39, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
Hope all's well, Midnightblueowl. ——SerialNumber54129 10:24, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Will have some more comments for you later today. Best, Midnightblueowl (talk) 13:15, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Between 10 May (start of German invasion) and 4 June (end of Dunkirk evacuation) 1940, Bloch apparently "lived under German occupation for a fortnight"! The statement has citations so presumably has been misplaced in time.Nedrutland (talk) 16:50, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

On Major worksEdit

  • Again, this is a very long section with no breaks. I'd strongly recommend using more sub-headings here to make it easier for the reader to navigate. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Added a section for later works.
  • "Although a small book. Lyon notes" - should be a comma, not a full stop. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Tweaked the entire sentence!
  • "in its discussion of soil, language and archaeological remains" - I'm not really sure what this means. Could it be clarified? Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Tightened to discussing geography.
  • "Bloch's most important work to date" - seems an unusual use of wording given that he has been dead for well over fifty years. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Yes; I meant up until then, but "most important early work" is probably clearer.
  • "different disciplines and even different periods" - I'd scrap "even" here. It makes the sentence feel a little sensationalist. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Agree, dropped.
  • "and was also considered his best work to date." - by whom? Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • No idea. Expunged.
  • "he knew, says Chirot, that the" - who is Chirot? He hasn't been introduced at this point. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Introduced w/ a non-false title.
  • "Hughes,[29]and possibly " - space bar needed. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Added.
  • "It was described by Bloch as something of a sketch" - cleaner in active voice, as "Bloch described the study as something of a sketch". Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • I've nabbed that, cheers!
  • "although a modern biographer has" - who? Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Stirling; noted.
  • "These three works—The Royal Touch, French Rural History and Feudal Society, which concentrate on the French Middle Ages have been described by Daniel Chirot as Bloch's most significant" I'd reword this. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Re-cast the sentence.
  • "The last two works Bloch wrote," - "Bloch's last two works"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Agree.
  • Many thanks as usual Midnightblueowl, all hopefully addressed. Cheers! ——SerialNumber54129 17:09, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

On Historical method and approachEdit

  • The quote box here is quite strange, combining two separate quotes. I'd consider using two separate quote boxes here; one to the left and the other to the right. Midnightblueowl (talk) 10:01, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Good idea, I've split them.
  • "Bloch, however, believed, as he wrote to Pirenne," - I think this part could be reworded to avoid so many commas in quick succession. Midnightblueowl (talk) 10:13, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Got rid of most of them and a "however": Bloch explained in a letter to Pirenne that, in Bloch's eyes, the historian's most important quality better?
      • Better, but I think we can tighten it even more. How about: "In a letter to Pirenne, Bloch expressed the view that the historian's most important quality"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 10:53, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
  • "Bloch claimed that both fighting alongside them in the war and his historical research into their history" - the "them" here (i.e. peasants) could be made more explicit. Midnightblueowl (talk) 10:13, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
    • both fighting alongside the peasantry in the war and his historical research into their history had shown him "the vigorous and unwearied quickness" of their minds, perhaps?
  • "Unlike Maitland, however, " - we will definitely want a link here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 10:13, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Linked.
  • "Stirling says, he managed to achieve "an imperfect and volatile imbalance" between them." - I'd rewrite this sentence. "According to Stirling..." or something. Midnightblueowl (talk) 10:13, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Yes, I used that, thanks.
  • "A farmer's field, he used as example" - "as an example"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 10:13, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks as ever, Midnightblueowl. Hope all's well! Cheers, ——SerialNumber54129 11:30, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Personal lifeEdit

  • I'd consider dividing that first paragraph in two. Again, it's quite long and I think readers are more likely to engage with shorter chunks of text. "Bloch was a committed supporter" would also work well as the start of a new paragraph. Midnightblueowl (talk) 10:52, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Done
  • Marc Bloch was not a tall man, being 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) in height." - we can get rid of the "Marc" here and I would ensure that we have a citation straight afterward as the following sentence begins talking about a slightly different subject. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:07, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Done
  • "An elegant dresser, although with "impossible" handwriting" - the current wording reads like a bit of a non sequitur. I'd suggest rewording, or maybe even breaking this sentence up into several. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:07, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
    • This was very difficult, although your point is important; How's Bloch was not a tall man, being 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) in height and an elegant dresser. Eugene Weber has described Bloch's handwriting as "impossible". He had expressive blue eyes, which could be "mischievous, inquisitive, ironic and sharp"? But I'm not particularly happy with that either!
  • "by Marx himself" - I'd probably specify "Karl Marx" rather than just "Marx". I know most readers will know precisely who Marx is, but still best to be explicit. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:07, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Done
  • "He was also capable of a "curious lack of empathy and comprehension for the horrors of modern warfare". [84] " - I'd specify who is making this claim in the text. Also, delete the space between the sentence and the citation at the end. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:07, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Attributed
  • "were a daughter Alice[103][76] and" - I'd put in some commas here, so that we have: "were a daughter, Alice,[103][76] and"
    • Done
  • "On the other hand, John Lewis Gaddis has" - I'm not really sure why we have "On the other hand" here, because the previous sentences talk about Bloch's attitude to his Jewish identity, which is quite different. Perhaps the sentences on Bloch's views of Stalin should be moved into the paragraph discussing Bloch's political views of Marxism? Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:53, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Removed "otoh" and per your suggestion, moved it to the other political stuff
  • "the Diphtheria section" - should diphtheria be in lower case here? Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:53, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Absolutely!
  • "English historiography, and indeed, respected" - scrap the "indeed," here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:53, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Lost that

---Sorry about the delay, Midnightblueowl, I've had a three-week hiatus. Back now, and will look at this tomorrow. Hope you're well! ——SerialNumber54129 20:52, 16 June 2019 (UTC)


  • "It is possible, had Bloch survived the war, that he would have stood to be appointed Minister of Education in a post-war government and reformed the education system he had condemned for losing France the war in 1940." - make it clear who is putting forward this possibility. Midnightblueowl (talk) 08:59, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Attributed
  • The second paragraph is very long. I'd suggest dividing it in two. Midnightblueowl (talk) 08:59, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Done
  • "as being to some extent a cult" - he would be the object of a cult, not a cult itself. Worth rewording. Midnightblueowl (talk) 08:59, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Added the object of
  • "Stirling" and then "Karen Stirling". Provide the forename at first mention. Midnightblueowl (talk) 08:59, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Removed all Karen's except at first mention
  • "a discussion of Osbert of Clare's Life of Edward the Confessor," - italicise the title of the hagiography. Midnightblueowl (talk) 08:59, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Done
  • "Wallace-Hadrill" - provide a forename. Midnightblueowl (talk) 08:59, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Added
  • "Past & Present, from Oxford University Press," maybe "published by" rather than "from". Midnightblueowl (talk) 08:59, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Done
@Midnightblueowl: Many thanks for those suggestions! I actioned them with this edit, although might want a second opinion on that split-sentence above. ——SerialNumber54129 13:44, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

Section for triviaEdit

  • Serial Number 54129 and Midnightblueowl, hello. I'm here reminding you that this review began January, over four months ago, and is still not completed. That is a considerably long amount of time for a GA review. There have been no edits to this page for two weeks and very few to the article since April. GA reviews cannot go on forever, and at some point this will have to be either finished or closed. Midnightblueowl, you are someone who, in my personal experience, regularly begins reviews and doesn't finish them, or has to be repeatedly reminded to do so. It is a very bad and unhelpful practice to start reviews only to disappear partway through them and I respectfully suggest that you change it. Please don't take on more reviews than you are willing to handle. Thank you. Display name 99 (talk) 20:43, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
It is true that Wikipedia in general has no deadline, but this changes once someone makes a GA nomination. We have a page where all of the open nominations are listed and it cannot be backlogged with stuff going back many months or years. How long do you expect people to wait? It is common practice to check on nominations that appear to be inactive. I'm not the only person who does it. The GA nominations page says: "A responsive nominator and reviewer can complete a review in about seven days." There's a big difference between seven days and four months. Display name 99 (talk) 00:38, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
@Display name 99: Yes, you're right that it is bad practice of me to take so long. It is, however, untrue to say that I am an editor who "regularly begins reviews and doesn't finish them" for, as far as I am aware, I have never left a review unfinished. I also think that the depth of my reviews are quite good and thorough, not that that excuses me for taking so long. It's not good of me and I apologise to anyone whom it inconveniences. Because that is the case, it is likely that this will be the last GAN that I actually conduct personally. Midnightblueowl (talk) 10:07, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
@Midnightblueowl: You review is excellent, bearing in mind the article's length, and I thank you for it. For Display name 99's unnecessary comments I give less thanks. And, Dn99, please do not remove the section header again; it is clearly not part of the GA review, so should remain discrete. In fact, I am minded to hat it again; while I do so, you can go and read WP:VOLUNTEER. Many thanks! ——SerialNumber54129 10:21, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
This will hopefully be the last comment that I make here. Midnightblueowl, I'm not aware off the top of my head of any GA reviews that you've left unfinished, although I'm pretty sure that you have taken a long time to review several. But you did leave an FA review for one of my FACs (John C. Breckinridge) unfinished. You also reviewed my Andrew Jackson FAC. Your review took almost a month and I had to ping you twice to remind you of it. I did not disparage or negatively comment on the quality of the reviews aside from their length. You seem to have done a decent job on this one aside from taking so long. Serial Number 54129, a separate section header is totally fine, just not a sarcastic or pejorative one. Display name 99 (talk) 13:12, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
@Display name 99: Bear in mind that FACs function differently to GANs. At a GAN, one (at most two) reviewers are responsible for reading and reviewing the entire article. At FACs, its a far more collective process with the burden of the work not falling on any one editor. Thus, there's no problem with an editor flying by, offering a few choice comments at an FAC, and leaving it at that. There is no obligation on them to read through and review the entire article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 13:19, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment:As a (mostly) uninvolved onlooker, I’d say that it might be better if more reviews took a little more time, as this one has, so that the “Good Article” label meant something more than a internal merit badge, or a tool of propaganda. With two, count it-two, minor exceptions, this article would now be a very good article in a very good “real” encyclopedia. Compare this to the editfest slop, where a group of co-religionists write and evaluate each others dreck over a weekend. That fits in nicely with timelines, but not with real quality standards. Take as long as needed to do it right, IOW.
  • (The two sections I’d cavil with: He was also capable of a "curious lack of empathy and comprehension for the horrors of modern warfare". [84] (When? War One or Two?) and the assertion that he was rhe oldest reserve officer. Source-able and sourced, but obviously wrong.) Qwirkle (talk) 16:39, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for these points, Qwirkle; I removed the thing about his age as, although sourcable, as you say, it's hardly provable by now and smacks of trivia in any case. I've also clarified that the fellow was talking about Bloch following WWI. Cheers! ——SerialNumber54129 13:44, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
I suspect there was something to it, but in a narrower sense. Oldest company grade? Oldest company grade combat arms? (IMS, his commission was infantry.) Oldest who was...I dunno, whatever the French then called what Usanians would call Individual Ready Reserve? But the particular sourcing seemed to go back to an offhand remark of MB’s which was almost certainly not meant literally. Qwirkle (talk) 22:49, 24 June 2019 (UTC)


@Serial Number 54129: Many thanks for all your hard work on this, and for your patience. I'm happy to pass this as a GA now. I think that it's a well-referenced, well-rounded article. The prose itself could certainly be further tightened, but that's a task for Peer Review rather than something we need be concerned with at this stage. Congratulations! Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:27, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

@Midnightblueowl: Cheers! And, also, thanKs for mentioning peer review :) no reflection on your review, of course, but I would like to take MB there next, as the subject is too far ourt of my comfort zone not to want to dot the i's and cross the t's. I imagine you might be all "Bloched-out" though ;) take care! ——SerialNumber54129 08:39, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
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