Marc Bloch: A Life in History

Carole Fink, Author Cambridge University Press $88.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-521-37300-5
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.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
Paperback - 394 pages - 978-0-521-40671-0
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