The Battle for the History of France Chapter 1, Fortune Favors the Bold, part III

By Dean R. Alexander                                                                                

The political, societal, and personal circumstances behind the formation of the world’s most influential historical journal

part III: a season of inopportunity


“Febvre called them the Sorbonnistes. For him, the word became an epithet equivalent to l’infâme.” J.H.Hexter

The question as to why Febvre harbored such deep anger toward the established the Sorbonne and the Collège de France was the unanswerable question that drove this research and ultimately is at the heart of this article. Jack Hexter‘s 1972 essay, Fernand Braudel, and Le Monde Braudellien, was perhaps most responsible for sparking this and other open-ended questions. Hexter  wrote, and I believe this passage explains the genesis of this paper very well, the following:

Febvre called them the Sorbonnistes. For him, the word became an epithet equivalent to l’infâme.* In the interest of the advance of historical studies, he felt it must be crushed. Febvre regarded the attitude of the Sorbonnistes as a symptom of the shrinking timidity of the France that emerged in spiritual disarray both from the debacle of 1870 and from the pyrrhic victory of 1914-1918.

*) Hexter uses l’infâme to illustrate the parallel between Voltaire’s trademark attack on Christianity and Febvre’s war on the historical methodologists. For Voltaire, these attacks containing l’infâme took on many forms and appeared hundreds of times in Voltaire’s writings from 1759 onward. One common example of Voltaire’s many variations on the l’infâme meme was: écrasez l’infâme, meaning to crush the loathsome thing (Durant, Durant 2011)

In the history of French historians, this is one of the few discussions of Febvre’s anger, but for me at least, Hexter’s writing leaves the motivation for this anger unreasoned and Febrvre’s future actions unsupported. What made Febvre so resentful, and why have these questions been ignored, or glossed over by the historians who write about them? I could not let these questions go. After researching this segment of history for two years I had what I felt were satisfactory explanations, but nothing grounded, concrete. It was time to wrap this up. Enough time had been spent chasing ghosts. What I had discovered are laid out in parts I, II, and IV of this paper, but after publishing the first two sections, while rounding up some loose ends, I finally stumbled upon a hint, a possible motivation for Febvre’s enmity. Within in Susan Feidman’s 2004 book, Marc Bloch, Sociology, and Geography, she would write that Seignobos, in 1901, wrote a passage in La Méthode Historique, that suggests that sociologists (and here I quote from Susan Friedman) “could benefit from a “scientific police” such as the Revue Critique d’histoire et de Littérature, which had done so much to enforce the rules of the historical method”(Freidman 2004). Friedman writes nothing more on this subject.

Browser searches for la Revue Critique d’histoire reveal virtually no results written in Englishand the majority of those in French are not a historical analysis of the history or impact of the journal on the historical and literary communities, but rather simply digital copies of the original volumes. A short entry (here) is revealing, and immediately, I understand the role this journal played in the development of the French positivist-methodological historian, far more completely than I could have before. The obvious impact of this journal made upon the historical inquiry between 1865 and 1835 undermines so many historical writings which I had read previously. It firmly establishes a new chronology for the methodical historical method in France, that began well before the war of 1870 and the formation of the Third Republic. First published in 1865, The Revue critique d’histoire was clearly an important part of the reform of the French educational system during the later part of the Second Empire (1852-1870) and integral the effort to professionalize the historical community.

The existence of the Revue Critique d’histoire, discounts the roundly applied idea that the humiliation of defeat inspired a rather knee-jerk reaction that they had “fallen behind Germany” (ie. den Boer 2014, DiVanna 2010), although this was a popular belief at the time. Intellectuals conjectured that France’s true failing was not a military one, but an intellectual and moral one (den Boer ibid).  H. L. Wesseling wrote that this post-1870 blame mirrored a similarly self-serving explanation which followed the battle of Waterloo. Waterloo, it was opined, had been won on “the playing fields of Eaton” and the real battle of Sudan (1870) had been won years earlier by the Prussian educator (Wesseling 2002).  National strength, in the French eyes, was gained first by the intellectual.  Ernest Renan, a famed historian of the day, would write the following passage among the opening lines his 1871 book, Reforme intellectualle et morale de la France, on the heels of France’s defeat, in 1871:

It is certainly one of the signs of the greatness of France that it [weakness and corruption] has not been allowed. Enervated by democracy, demoralized by its very prosperity, France has expiated in the most cruel way its years of misguidance. The reason for this fact is in the very importance of France and in the nobility of her past. There is justice for her; it is not open to him to abandon himself, to neglect his vocation; it is evident that Providence loves him; because she punishes him. A country which has played a leading role has no right to be reduced to bourgeois materialism, which only wants to enjoy its acquired wealth peacefully. Is not mediocre who wants. The man who prostitutes a great name, who lacks a mission written in his nature, cannot afford without consequence a host of things which one pardons to the ordinary man, who has neither gone on to continue nor great duty to fulfill.

We should consider that while Renan may well have believed the words above, he, along with Fustel de Coulanges, were activists seeking reforms and investment in the French university system. In calling for the resurrected glory of France, they did so in service of their own goals. Not only were the historians leading an academic charge, but after 1870 they were championing a nationalistic one, forging an exceedingly close relationship between the historical community and the Third Republic. No longer just civil servants, like Guizot before them, many historians would take up legislative roles running for seats in the National Assembly (Noiriel 1990), and in Jean Jaurès, the historian would assume a major role in social and political leadership. Given this intertwined political relationship between the Third Republic and the historians, it was inevitable that “some chairs [of history] were created for purely political creations” writes Noiriel. For instance, “the chair of modern and contemporary history is created for Rambaud in 1884 [and] the chair of the French Revolution is created for Aulard in 1886” (Noiriel ibid.). As such, most historians were stalwart Republicans, although there were notable exceptions, such as socialist historian and SFIO leader, Jean Jaurès, and later, the communiste historian, Georges Lefebvre, who was an early contributor to the Annales Journal.

With the historian’s social standing having greatly risen during the formative years of the Third Republic, there was an expansion in the number of students entering the field of historical study. One thousand students of history studied in Paris and an equivalent number in the provinces (Noiriel 1990). As the state’s investment into the historical community also rose, so did the number of chairs of history in the country’s universities. Between 1896 and 1905, investments within historical study saw an expansion in the chairs of history expand from 57  to 74, many of which were at newly rebuilt Sorbonne, where the historical chairs doubled in number between 1870 and 1900 (Noiriel ibid). In fact, a full third of the theses published by the Sorbonne, between 1880 and 1899, were written those seeking agrégation in history (Noiriel ibid).

During this period there was a proliferation in the number of academic journals being produced, all which created academic opportunity. But it was the discretion of the editors which made at these journals the gatekeepers of historical exploration. In this light, read Noiriel’s description of the editorial boards’ function: giving particular consideration to the last, short, sentence:

[the drafting committee] examines articles, evaluates them, authorizes them or not, and eventually requests revisions. It includes several sections: articles that must meet the standards of scientificity in force with abundant critical apparatus, the echo of the debates, the life of the community and its manifestations (symposia, meetings, thesis defense reports), and critical reports. The function of these is essential.

Where each individual journal had the latitude to define the content and opinion of the original research papers they chose to publish, they also often printed peer reviews of books and papers, and open letters to the academic community, all of which gave these journals a voice in the direction of their fields. Typically, the journals which were based in Paris carried the most academic weight and readership, as the French academic community had always been overtly Parisian-centric. But it was the Paris-based Revue critique d’histoire et de littérature which sole role rested upon criticism. The Revue critique’s volumes often ran just over 500 pages, carried short, pointed, reviews of books, essays, papers, and memoirs – not just of history, though that was a major focus, but of all literary matters.

Seignobos and Langlois would write in the l’Introduction, in 1898, of the importance they placed on the role that the Revue critique played as the self-appointed ‘police’ of the historical community.

“The [editors] proceeded with memorable executions, not for the sake of pleasure, but with the firm intention of creating censorship, and consequently, justice, by terror, in the field of historical studies. The bad workers were then hunted down and, no doubt, the Revue did not go deeply into the thick layers of the general public, but it did, however, exercise its police in a fairly wide range to inculcate, willingly or unwillingly, most of those concerned. the habit of sincerity and respect for the method” (Seignobos, Langlois 1898)

Although the reviews were written by dozens, if not hundreds, of literary and historical peers, the voice and opinion of the criticism leveled, ultimately had to have been tightly controlled by the editorial board, giving these few tremendous power.  Charles Seignobos was reportedly an active contributor to Revue critique d’histoire, although, among the several volumes that are available online, only the issue of January 1906 volume readily gave up examples of his reviews. However, many of the reviewers, published by la Revue, are only identifiable by their initials: such as H. de C. and the more obscured, My. Other authors, the most famous and impervious to counter-criticism and academic retribution, are credited by their full last names, like G. Cœdès, H. Hauser, and Ch. Seignobos. Below is the most critical of the two reviews I translated. The second review can be read here.

QUENTIN-BAUCHART, Studies, and Memories of the Second Republic and the Second Empire (1848-1876). Posthumous memoirs published by his son. ir part. The Republic of 1848 … 2nd empire. The ten-year presidency and the Empire. Paris, Plon, 1901-1902, 484 and 622 p. in-8.
The author, the representative in the Legislative Assembly, then president of the State Council and Senator of the Empire, retired in private life since 1870, had written (from 1872 to 1883) – from memory, apparently he, and rather in 1883 than in 1872, a narrative of the events to which he could have sat. This is what his son calls “Memoirs”. Historians have learned to unravel memories collected at the end of a career and they use it more than in the absence of contemporary documents. But these are not even “Memoirs” that we are given here. In these 1110 pages, there are not twenty pages of personal memories. I have lost several hours reading them, without finding any other information than the apology of the author for his personal conduct, not to yield to Prussia (p. Ollivier (p.526) who does not learn anything new. The rest contains only documents within the reach of everyone, extracts from reports of meetings or reports, professions of faith, agendas, proclamations, articles of December 3, 1851 (end of t. an insignificant anecdote about a dinner at Compiegne where the author had the honor of being seated on the right of the Empress (p 345), a letter written by the author to Napoleon III in 1866 to engage him newspapers. Even in cases where the author played a role (report on the June 48 days, “mission of clemency” of 1852), these “Memoirs” provide no useful information.
What service do you think is given to history by cluttering the libraries of two large volumes that do not contain anything that is not found in the directories, the official collections, or the collections of periodicals?


A closing window of opportunity

In 1894 the process of accreditation at the Sorbonne was reformed as well, establishing the diplôme d’études supérieur (DES) which introduced serious research into student’s scholarship, even before they began the l’agrégation d’histoire “competition” (Weisz 2014). “From 1880 to 1906,” wrote François Dosse, Patrick Garcia, and Christian Delacroix (2005), “the access routes to the profession of the historian are fixed.” The statement references the assuredness of the established historical-educational method and the waypoints of academia through which students of history were required to pass to become a professional in the field. The end date they provide, 1906, Is it coincidental that this is the year that Simiand would create doubt? But more than this, after the turn of the century, the prospects the previous generation had enjoyed, began to dwindle.  After more than three decades, academic reform had been completed and the expansion of historical study had eased. The fact that the professors who held the chairs at the Sorbonne were entitled to retain them until their death, meant that new opportunities appeared at interminable intervals and a backlog of impressively qualified candidates began to grow number. If Simiand and the Durkheimians had exposed a weakness in the established historical system, others would need to exploit those weaknesses if they were to find their own professional success.

After Lucien Febvre graduated from the prestigious teaching college, École Normale Supérieure (ENS), in 1902 at age 25, the final segment of agrégation required repayment of having studied there, entailed teaching France’s best academically inclined high school age students, at one of the country’s many lycéesThis position is thus called Professeur agrégé, and it was typical that the doctoral aspirant wrote his thesis during this time, a process that would take Febvre four years to complete. The clock of opportunity for Febvre was ticking. 

The least difficult route to teach at any Parisian University was to be hired at a Parisian lycée. This was the simple issue that the physical proximity Parisian-based aspirants had to their next desired position, giving them an advantage in campaigning for that next job. This was equally true of those who ultimately sought to teach, or lecture, at the Sorbonne or the Collège de France (Noiriel 1990), those who taught in Paris needn’t travel hundreds of kilometers to campaign for a position and the Paris-based candidate was likely to be personally known among by those in the academic community. However, even for Lucien Lebvre, who graduated almost a decade before Bloch, Febvre found this “easier” track to the Sorbonne via Parisian lycées closed to him. The only Professeur agrégé positions available were in the provinces.

Upon completing his agrégation, Febvre found a teaching position at the l’université de Dijon. This was clearly not how Febvre envisioned his future when he had attended the elite lycée Louis-le-Grand (Hughes 1966) and later at the École Normale, the college which had produced the greatest of French academicians. Febvre was off the fast track of Parisian academia and into the slow lane of a provincial scholarship. The war would intercede in August of 1914 and Febvre, along with Bloch, who was just finishing his agrégation, left their respective positions to fight the Boches.

Beyond Bloch having received a glancing bullet to the head and about with typhoid, the scars of war these men carried with them are largely unknown. Following the succession of hostilities, Bloch and Febvre’s units were moved eastward liberating Alsace, which had been lost to the Prussians in 1870. As highly-trained historians and officers in the French Army, they independently found themselves recruited to teach at the nearby and recently seized Kaiser-Wilhelm-Universität, which was quickly restaffed and refitted with its historical name, l’université de Strasbourg. The two men would meet for the first time then, in early 1919.

For Bloch, being in Strasbourg was a return to his ancestral home of Alsace and, by chance, he was following of his father’s footsteps, teaching at the university where his father had begun his professorship before he had attained a chair at the Sorbonne. For Febvre, on the other hand, teaching at another provincial university could only have been viewed as a horizontal move. But Febvre certainly realized that he had been lucky to have landed the position at a time many normaliens, and intellectuals of all stripes were having difficulty finding academic work of any type.  As it would turn out, Febvre’s Alsatian detour, with the meeting of his future Annales co-founder, in Marc Bloch, as well as others, including the influences instilled by Strasbourg faculty members, Charles Blondel and Maurice Halbwachs, would forever alter Febvre’s professional trajectory.


At the end of the war, France, as most European countries, found herself in a dire economic position. As countries were geared almost solely for the production of instruments of war, items which could neither be bought or sold in the civilian market, had drained the economy through its lack of currency exchange. This effectively squelched civilian industries, decimating France’s gross national product, both of which could quickly or easily be revived once the armistice was signed. Worse, as the industry of war lay quiet, unemployment soared. Between layoffs by armament manufacturers and the return of its poilu (slang for the bearded French infantryman) to civilian life, unemployment was high. Consequently, people’s priorities became simple ones, necessary ones. Books and other relatively expensive, non-essentials, felt the brunt of this economic squeeze, and with plummeting sales, years before the war’s final shot, the publishing business was in crisis.

The United States-based journal, The American Review of Reviews, wrote of this trouble in Volume VII, October 1920 to July 1921. It stated that the “crisis in the book trade…is a vital one for France, and is becoming daily more acute. Those solicitous about the intellectual and economic future of the country ask themselves whither it is drifting”… The number of learned works unpublished is rapidly increasing, while young literary aspirants find themselves in a vicious circle: to await (in order to find a publisher) a fame which they can attain only after a publication of their efforts. The decline threatens, indeed, to become a national cataclysm unless serious attention be given to the matter in high places.”

So it was into this economic slump that Febvre and Bloch returned from war. Henri Berr did manage to continue the production of his la Revue de Synthèse, which Febvre and Bloch were again writing articles and critiques. Moreover, their books, which had been published by Revue de Synthèse, were offered for sale on the last pages of la Revue. In the January 1921 issue of the Revue, Febvre’s 1912 book La Franche-Comté was offered for 3 francs, while Marc Bloch’s 1913 work, L’Ile-de-France, (les pays autour de Paris) was offered for 4.5 francs. By 1921, these were somewhat older works that had been written by not yet well-established historians; and this fact is indicated by their price. The Revue itself cost 4 francs 50, and Henri Berr’s own books, such as L’histoire traditionnelle et la synthèse historique were offered for 7 francs. While most of the authors offered by la Revue were professors who taught at provincial universities, or specialists working in emerging fields, two exceptions stand out. A book by Gaston Milbaud, a professor at the Sorbonne, whose work Descartes savant, was selling for 12 francs 50, and the just published La géographie de l’histoire by Jean Brunhes, a professor of social geology at the Collège de France, was offered at 40 francs. To be fair, this was a massive tomb of 800 pages, featuring 36 maps, so far more expensive price was relative to the price of its production.

What we can infer from this the table of contents and the list of books for sale is that the Revue de Synthèse was, even in 1921, very much still a provincial academic publication. Inroads into Parisian academic circles were, however, being made. The question remains: was this the case that there were professors at the Collège and the Sorbonne who supportive the new approaches to historical study propagated by Berr et al., or perhaps this was it that the provincial journal was supportive of the outliers of Parisian academics? Brunhes work was certainly unconventional. Early in his career as a lecturer at the University of Friborg in 1896, he coined the term “social geography” and that as the first chair of “human geography” in Lausanne in 1907, Brunhes, at the same time as Durkheim, was paving a new path. These ideas put Brunhes very much in the forefront of the sociological movement and an ally of the Durkheimian-Burr camp. As a socialist-Catholic and follower of Marc Sangnier, he developed ideas regarding the exploitation of geological factors, particularly the “unproductive occupation of the land” meaning dwellings and roads, the raising (conquête) of animals and farming practices, and an economy that he considers destructive to animal, plant and the earth. Brunhes work would greatly influence Marc Bloch and the future of the Annales regarding geographical concepts (

Brunhes had achieved a chair at the Collège de France in 1912, though it was achieved and funded through the will and donation of a powerful banker and philanthropist, Albert Kahn. Kahn had tapped Brunhes to lead his pet project, les Archives de la Planète, and for this ambitious Archives project to be completed, Kahn needed Brunhes located in Paris. This was a very similar situation, as we will see in part IV, to Febvre’s ascension to the Collège, a decade later. Like Brunhes, Febvre’s ascension was very much against the grain, through the patronage of Anatole de Monzie. Thus, Brunhes remained an outlier; his ideas opposed by those within the mainstream field of French geography, while his liberal political views were certainly not widely appreciated by many of largely républicain faculty of the conservative Sorbonne.

Febvre and Bloch, too, were very much outsiders to those in Parisian academia. They were outsiders both in a physical sense, working in provincial academia, and were viewed as intellectual outsiders, promoting ideas counter to traditional methodological historians. In both of these ways, they found the path to becoming a lecturer or chair at one of the great Parisian universities stymied.

The academic reforms which had created so much opportunity for the generation of the methodological historians, had long since been completed. This meant that new positions were no longer being created at the Collège and Sorbonne.  The tremendous stagnation created by methodological professors who refused to retire stymied most chances these men would have had for upward opportunities (Datta 1999). Henry Stuart Hughes wrote in 1966 of this frustration harbored by Febvre and Bloch, that the Université de Strasbourg was becoming “too small for their talents” (Hughes 1966).

However, the situation on the ground in Strasbourg in was changing, and in no small part was the immense frustration Febvre felt, and even more so for Bloch, the need to escape from the positions which held them in Alsace.

Almost immediately after the war’s end and Alsace’s liberation from German rule, a regional Alsatian nationalist movement dedicated to the protection of the linguistic and religious heritage had sprung up, many of whom advocated for regional autonomy (Fischer 2010). Where the union strikes in 1919 and 1920 in France were as concerned with workers work conditions and pay, it was a power struggle between the SFIO and the French Communist party, the concurrent strikes across the Moselle were staged by workers who simply wanted the French, particularly those who did not speak German, to withdrawal from Alsace and Lorraine (Sudlow 2017).

With the French 1924 electoral win for the Republican-socialist coalition, le Cartel de Gauches, ended any “honeymoon” between Alsatians and Paris, writes Susan Friedman. Following the longstanding républicain anticlerical doctrine, the French prime minister, Edouard Herriot, made a speech detailing his plan that all French laws should now be applied across Alsace and Lorraine. For the clergy in the Moselle, this meant that Herriot wanted the Alsatians to abandon the Concordat of 1801, the agreement which Napoleon had made with the church regarding its position within the state. In 1905, the Républicains released France from the Concordat, eliminating the French subsidy of the Church and payment and selection of the clergy (McGillicuddy 2011). Henriot’s cabinet’s immediate action was a plan to create secular, interdenominational schools, just like those which existed across France, a move which the German-speaking Catholics saw as an attack on their religious heritage, and thus sought to retain their Catholic, state-funded educational system (Löhr, Wenzlhuemer 2012). Herriot also sought to bring uniformity to the federal government, with the elimination of the regional, post-war temporary position of the High Commissioner of Alsace-Lorraine, and like all of the other French provinces, establishing all executive positions that governed the provinces at the seat of government in Paris. This strengthening and centralizing of the federal system was seen by Alsatians as an attack on regional determination and Alsatian autonomy.

The clergy, with a published letter by Bishop Ruch, in July of 1924, reacted strongly against these moves, provoking a huge demonstration in Strasbourg (McGillicuddy 2011), primarily by German-speaking Catholics (Löhr, Wenzlhuemer 2012). The fear of change drove the regional-nationalistic movement. So much was new: a new currency, a new tax system, new governmental formations, a new political structure and a new, far away, capital, all of which created anxiety among the German-speaking Alsatians (McGillicuddy 2011). Another point of conflict was that wages across the Moselle were higher than in the rest of France and the German labor laws which had governed the region, were more favorable to the worker than the lois which guided French employment (McGillicuddy ibid.).  Unrest was building in Alsace and in time it began to make it uncomfortable for the French scholars who lived and were particularly visible, in this primarily German-speaking region.

Despite the reputation the faculty had earned as a hotbed of intellectual thought, the growing animosity demonstrated by the Alsatians, coupled with dwindling the financial support the government gave to the university system, which included a loss of the hardship stipend for the Strasbourg faculty, created a growing wish to escape Alsace among the Strasbourg faculty. As Fascism and antisemitism crept into the Alsatian nationalist movement during the 1930’s, Strasbourg could have only become an increasingly uncomfortable place for Marc Bloch, who was of Jewish descent.

After a number of failed campaigns to gain a chair at either the Collège or the Sorbonne, Febvre would land a position at the Collège de France in 1933, leaving Bloch behind in Strasbourg. Febvre, in a letter to Bloch, wrote knowingly of Bloch’s shrinking island of French intellectualism, which was surrounded by an increasingly regionalistic and antagonistic Alsatian population. “The ‘Strasbourgeois’,” Febvre would commiserate in a letter to Bloch, regarding his unenviable position back in Strasbourg, “were indeed ‘invasive beings.'” Later Febvre would write to Bloch regarding “how few survivors are left of the fine team of the beginning” (Febvre via Friedman 2004).


Next up: Part IV, A War of Words

Sources for Chapter 1: part 3, a season of inopportunity

Fernand Braudel and the Monde Braudelliens, J.H. Hexter, 1972 reprinted in Annales: Critical Assessments, edited by Stuart Clark, Taylor & Francis, 1999

History as a ProfessionThe Study of History in France, 1818-1914 Pim den Boer Princeton University PressJul 14, 2014

Certain Ideas of France: Essays on French History and Civilization, H. L. Wesseling, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 

Reforme intellectualle et morale de la France, Ernest Renan, Michel Levy Freres, editeurs, a la Librairie Nouvelle, 1871

Naissance du métier d’historien, Gérard Noiriel, Genèses Sciences sociales et histoire, Année 1990,  Parcourir Collections,

Les courants historiques en France: 19e-20e siècle, François Dosse, Patrick Garcia, and Christian Delacroix, Armand Colin, 2005

Revue critique d’histoire et de littérature / Recuil Hebdomadaire, Directeur: M. Arthur Chuquet, Quarantième année, Ernest, Leroux, Editeur, Libraire de la Société Asiatique de École des langues orientales vivantes, etc. 1906

The Obstructed Path: French Social Thought in the Years of Desperation, 1930-1960, Henry Stuart Hughes, 1966

The Age of VoltaireThe Story of Civilization Will DurantAriel Durant, Simon and SchusterJun 7, 2011

Marc Bloch, Sociology and Geography: Encountering Changing DisciplinesSusan W. Friedman, Cambridge University Press, 2004

Introduction to the study of History, Charles V. Langlois and Charles Seignobos, 1898, translated by G.G. Berry, Henry Holt & Co. 1904

The Emergence of Modern Universities In France, 1863-1914George Weisz, Princeton University Press, 2014

Birth of a National Icon: The Literary Avant-Gardeand the Origins of the Intellectual in FranceVenita Datta SUNY Press, 1999

The American Historical Review, Volume VII, October 1920 to July 1921edited by John Franklin Jameson, Henry Eldridge Bourne, Robert Livingston Schuyler, American Historical Association, 1902

A l’Origines des Réformes de l’Education National; Gustave Monod, Pierre Guiral, Les directeurs de ministère en FranceXIXe-XXe siècles, Librairie Droz, 1976 

The concept of an Intellectual Generation, Jean-François Sirinelli, Intellectuals in Twentieth-Century France: Mandarins and Samurais, edited by Jeremy Jennings, Springer, 2016

The American Review of Reviews, Volume 61, edited by Albert Shaw, Review of Reviews, 1920

Alsace to the Alsatians?Visions and Divisions of Alsatian Regionalism, 1870-1939 Christopher J. Fischer, Berghahn Books, 2010

National Identities in FranceBrian Sudlow Routledge2017

René Schickele and AlsaceCultural Identity Between the BordersÁine McGillicuddy, Peter Lang, 2011

The Nation State and BeyondGoverning Globalization Processes in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth CenturiesIsabella LöhrRoland Wenzlhuemer, Springer Science & Business Media2012

About Diary of a Winebuyer

About Me: Thirty years ago, I graduated with a degree in political science from the College of Letters and Science at the University of California at Berkeley. Having grown up at the height of the Cold War, I still have vivid remembrances of being instructed to hide under our elementary school desk, covering our heads. The young, white, female teacher, training us without explanation, to face away from the windows. I suppose it is not all that surprising that I had a particular interest in the realpolitik of international relations. My fascination grew with the discovery that certain conditions almost uniformly exist where all revolutions ferment. Did this mean that the revolutions which had occurred in the first half century were revolutions which had been usurped by Marxists who were in the right place at the right time? Probably. A favorite professor was A. J. Gregor. This was a man who, while rakishly wearing a Gestapo-styled black leather motorcycle jacket, exuded expertise on fascism (which he looked the part) and Marxism. Improbably, he did it with a significant swagger. Then in my last semester, I had the blind luck to take a class on Asian Marxist revolution, and the professor, who just happened to be visiting that year while he worked on some unnamed project, was Chalmers Johnson. In retrospect, I should have known his name, as he was a luminary in the political science community but at that time, I did not. It was a remarkable opportunity to experience the ivory tower, but I seem to remember being anxious to get on with life. After college, I drifted through a few of jobs that were of interest to me. One of my former high school teachers said to me. "If I were in your shoes, I'd get a job as a flight attendant." So in order to be young while I could still afford to, I accepted a job serving chicken or beef at Pan American. With that airline losing money faster than it could sell its routes, I got a job doing cellar work at David Bruce Winery. This was the beginning of my wine career. All during this period, I wrote a still unpublished novel about homegrown terrorists the U.C. Berkeley campus, attempting to use some of what I learned in school, weaving in the Vietnamese political and military strategies of Dau Tranh as professor Johnson had lectured years before. Since the early 1990's, I have been involved in the wine industry, selling fine wine in both the retail and wholesale arenas. I have approached learning about wine, by always challenging myself to question how I know what I think I know? And in an effort to try to find answers I've turned, with varying degrees of success to wine books. Overall, I've not been happy with the quality of most wine writing, finding the authors either to lack any deep knowledge, or unable to move much past what I consider to be superficial information. I recognize that wine writers have to monetize their work, but I believe this has dramatically held back our knowledge and understanding of wine. I have set out to add to our industry's base of knowledge where I can. My first series, 'The Terroir of Burgundy' (which I should probably re-edit and complete some kind of conclusion, but I got involved in this project), can be viewed here. I currently work as a sales and marketing manager for a Burgundy and Bordeaux importer based in Atherton, California.
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