Johnson, Gerald W.
August 1953
New Republic;8/10/53, Vol. 129 Issue 2, p19
The article focuses on the book The Historian's Craft, by Marc Bloch. In 1944 the Nazi terror blotted out the fine intelligence that was Marc Bloch; he had joined the French Resistance, was captured, tortured and shot. This book, therefore, remains a fragment, perhaps five-sevenths complete; but truncated as it is, it has a grace and dignity that the most polished work of lesser men fails to attain. Writer Joseph R. Strayer, who contributes an introduction, remarks that Bloch's style is difficult, which may be true of the originable, but Peter Putnam's translation is admirably lucid, and he complains only of the state of the manuscript, studded with elisions and interpolations, sometimes written on the bade of the sheet, for the author was not given time to make a fair copy. The Historian's Craft is not and was not intended to be a technician's manual, but many a professional will read it for entertainment if not for instruction; and every professional should recommend it to laymen, for it will not only inform the average layman, but will greatly enlarge his respect for the craft.


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