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This is not to say that Bloch's work is lacking in relevance to contemporary historical debate.However, his books' position within the current intellectual environment is difficult to separate from the place in contemporary historiography of the Annales movement associated with the journal.This may be partly explained by his acceptance into the academic establishment, which often results in the ideas of influential scholars becoming part of the public domain rather than the subject of critical discussion.
More recent developments in the work of the Annales historians might be considered closer to the spirit of Bloch’s original ideas.
There has been a shift towards cultural history and a renewed emphasis on the idea of past mentalities.
I know there has been a lot of changes in our understanding of the social, legal, and political structure of the Middle Ages and the word feudalism is out of style.
Does this discredit much of Bloch's work at least in this area?
Today the influence of Bloch’s work on historical scholarship is not immediately apparent.
Marc Bloch Strange Defeat Essay
Most references to him are superficial and lacking in direct engagement with his ideas and research.
In his youth, Bloch was profoundly affected by the Dreyfus Affair, the trial of an Alsatian Jewish artillery officer for treason that took place in the 1890s and 1900s.
The case, and the question of Dreyfus’s guilt, was the topic of widespread discussion among the public and in the French press, and was to influence Bloch’s beliefs regarding the role of rumour and misinformation in the collective consciousness; he was later to state that in examining the past, a historian should adopt “the critical spirit” and examine historical documents as if they were witnesses in a legal trial.
The question of whether Bloch would have anticipated or approved of later applications of his ideas is a matter for conjecture.
He believed that history was a constantly evolving discipline, and that the younger generation should challenge the conclusions of their predecessors.