Cover image for Marc Bloch : a life in history
Marc Bloch : a life in history
Fink, Carole, 1940-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
xix, 371 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


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Material Type
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D15.B596 F56 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This is the first biography of Marc Bloch (1886-1944), historian, soldier in both world wars, and leader of the Resistance, who was captured, tortured, and died a heroic death. Based largely on Bloch's private letters, diaries and papers, as well as on other unpublished documents, it traces the remarkable life of this French-Jewish patriot under the Third Republic. As an historian, Bloch is perhaps best known for The Historian's Craft, an inspiring set of meditations on his life's work, and as co-founder of the now legendary journal Annales, which gave rise to a major school of historical writing. Profoundly influenced by the dark events that shaped his era - world wars, anti-semitism, and totalitarianism - Bloch has become something of an intellectual hero of our century, his life an epitome of the endeavour to uphold, in the face of such events, the spirit of unfettered critical enquiry.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

This first full-scale biography of Marc Bloch (1866-1944), French historian and Resistance martyr, is a moving, exemplary analysis of the intellectual as man of action. An assimilated Alsatian Jew deeply affected in his youth by the Dreyfus Affair, Bloch joined the Resistance in late 1942 or early '43, driven by ardent patriotism, identification with his Jewish roots and a conception of France as champion of liberty. His capture and murder by the Gestapo was a significant loss to modern scholarship, although his influence lives on in Annales , a journal he co-founded with Lucien Febvre. Fink, professor at the University of North Carolina, sheds light on Bloch's close brush with death in WW I, his stormy disputes with Febvre and his desperate efforts to save his family from the Nazis. She limns an independent thinker opposed to all doctrines, a medievalist who understood Hitler's use of rituals, a man of conviction who risked his life for his beliefs, an unmasker of popularly held prejudices. Photos. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Drawing on Bloch's unpublished correspondence and notes, Fink has written the first full intellectual and political biography of the brilliant scholar who co-founded the Annales, this century's most influential and controversial historical journal. Bloch pioneered in the writing of the ``new'' social and economic history and the history of mentalities; his best works (e.g., French Rural History, Feudal Society ) merit reading today. A Frenchman and a Jew, Bloch was proud of his family's history and of the decorations he had received in two wars. He moved reluctantly into opposition to the Vichy collaborators in 1944. He became a leader of the Resistance in Lyons, where he was arrested by the Germans, tortured, and executed only months before France's liberation. A work of painstaking scholarship, this is, equally, the story of a true hero. Highly recommended.-- David Keymer, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Utica (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Bloch, a great historian and cofounder of the influential French historical journal, Annales, was a French citizen of Jewish descent who fought in both world wars and was tortured and killed by the Nazis as a Resistance fighter. This biography, the first detailed analysis of Bloch's life, thought, and work, is in effect a social history of that outstanding individual. As Fink properly points out, "there is no grand theory behind {{this biography.}} I have sought to. . .render his reality in its proper texture and contours, to revive his voice and his milieux and to relate the life of a complex, courageous intellectual. . . ." In that task she has accomplished her announced purpose. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -D. M. Lowe, San Francisco State University

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of abbreviations
1 Forebears
2 Education
3 The young historian
4 The Great War
5 Strasbourg
6 L'histoire humaine
7 The Annales
8 Paris
9 Strange defeat
10 Vichy
11 Narbonne
12 The legacy
Selected bibliography of Marc Bloch's publications
Note of sources