Marc Bloch

France, 1886 - 1944

Marc Bloch was a French historian and, with Lucien Febvre, founding father of the Annales School, whose focus on the long term and attention to economic and social history signified a radical break from traditional historiography. Bloch studied history in Paris, Berlin and Leipzig. He fought in World War I and was decorated with the Légion d’honneur. After teaching in Strasbourg, he was made Professor in Paris in 1936. Among his groundbreaking works are Les rois thaumaturges (1924), Les caractères originaux de l’histoire rurale française (1931) and La société féodale (1939). The unfinished Apologie pour l’histoire ou Métier d’historien (1949), whose introduction is included in Nexus 69, appeared posthumously. Bloch, a Jew, wrote it in 1941 and 1942, before joining the French resistance. In 1944, he was executed by the Gestapo.