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Memoirs of War, 1914–15
de Marc Bloch
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Great historians have seldom described the notable events in which they themselves participated. Marc Bloch - author of Feudal Society, the classic study of medieval social systems and co-founder of the influential French historical journal Annales - is an exception, In his powerful memoir The Strange Defeat, he analysed the fall of France in 1940 from the viewpoint of combatant as well as historian. And in his Memoirs of War, 1914-15, here in its first English translation (originally published in hard covers in 1980 by Cornell University Press), Bloch left a keen and affecting account of his earliest experience of war. Carole Fink's introduction includes a brief biography of Bloch, discusses the effect of the war upon his intellectual development, and assesses his achievements as a historian. Though Bloch survived the savage trench warfare of the First World War, he was shot by a Gestapo firing squad in 1944 for his participation in the Resistance. Trenchant, inspiring, and tersely written, Memoirs of War, 1914-15 is a monument to a great scholar and fierce patriot.
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