User:Ferox Seneca

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Ferox Seneca is the nomme de guerre of a user who likes to edit articles on Chinese history for fun. Questions encouraged. Donations accepted.

Guys that got me started[edit]

Grandpa Yan; 閻錫山
Yan Xishan.jpg
Grandpa Yan is grossly underrated in the PRC and by Chinese historians in general.

Yan Xishan[edit]

My second favorite character in all of twentieth-century Chinese history (after Zhou Enlai). Grossly underrated in the PRC and by historians in general. Wikipedia's entry before 2011 was mostly ripped off of a number of non-academic, PRC-based "Chinese History" websites, which themselves did not source their information. Research ongoing. If anyone on the internet knows of any credible sources relating to his life, and/or the battles in Shanxi after 1945, it would be cool if you would share.

I've completed my edits of this article, using all available electronic and print sources that I can find. Some unsourced content remains because I have no reason to disbelieve that it is untrue. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to go in order to confirm these.

Zhou Enlai[edit]

This guy is my hero.

I rewrote most of his current biography after about 1928, probably in far too much detail. His relationship with the Chairman was the relationship between the last junzi and Qin Shihuang: how could he have know what would happen after he helped get his emperor absolute power?. In the current state of the article, the period between 1958-1972 is the most incomplete and poorly written: after the Korean War, Zhou's life gets sad and tragic, as he sells out his old comrades to Qin and abandons his integrity in order to keep himself and a very small number of his closest supporters from being disgraced and humiliated, and to keep the State from sliding back into anarchy. It's not very fun to write about, so I'm just going to leave it incomplete. Perhaps I'll finish that article some day?

DYK[edit]

Interpretation of WP:CHINA's Ratings Scale[edit]

I've taken an interest in actively rating WP:CHINA-related articles. I don't believe that there is a completely objective way to rate the biographies of historical Chinese politicians and generals. I also don't believe that the ranking system is universally interpreted the same way by the various editors of WP:CHINA. I am sure that my interpretations will contradict those of some other editors, but also I believe that my interpretations are logical, defensible, and clear.

Scale of Importance[edit]

  1. Top: People who are so important and well-known that they are basically household names. Their contributions to the course of Chinese history was so great that the narrative of Chinese history texts will closely follow their activities. (i.e. Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong, and Sun Yat-sen).
  2. High: People who are slightly less well-known, but who are still extremely important due to their contributions to Chinese history (either positive or negative), and are so important and well-known that anyone with a basic understanding of modern Chinese history will at least be somewhat familiar with them. They came very close to exercising the highest levels of power. They are so important that general history books on China will go into great detail to describe their activities, which changed the course of Chinese history in some major way (i.e. Zhou Enlai, Peng Dehuai, and Lin Biao).
  3. Mid: People who may have been important and famous, but who are not well known to the public. Although they may have been important, their contributions were often under the authority of others, and/or obscure. They may have achieved a degree of power and success, but usually this level of power was not at the highest levels, was only in a very specialized area, was clearly overshadowed by more powerful and successful figures, and/or was only for a limited period of time before they fell into relative obscurity. Because these figures will be given only a cursory description in general Chinese history texts, editors will need to access specialized and/or academic resources in order to research them in detail. Most biographies will fall into this category by default. (i.e. Yan Xishan, Song Jiaoren, and Zhang Xueliang).
  4. Low: People who are generally unknown to any but the most specialized historians. They may have made contributions to Chinese history, but only under others. Many ended their careers in failure and/or obscurity after coming into conflict with more important characters, and/or are generally mentioned only in passing as part of these other figures' biographies. General Chinese history texts will not mention them in any more than name; or, if more than that, in no more than a single paragraph. All but the most resourceful editors will have difficulty researching any but the most cursory details about their life. (i.e. Sun Chu, Wang Jingguo, and Li Dazhao)

Quality Scale[edit]

  1. A: No twentieth-century biographies exist that are rated by WP:CHINA as A-ranked. I would expect that such an article would completely cover all aspects of the person's life from a variety of perspectives, and would include a very standardized, academic, thorough system of referencing. (i.e. = none, at present).
  2. GA: I am pretty new to Wikipedia, and I have only promoted one article to GA status on my own, Sanzo Nosaka). I expect that a GA-ranked article would cover all important aspects of a person in detail, with no noticeable gaps in time, and support it's information with reliable inline citations. I have a long-term goal of promoting the articles on Zhou Enlai and Yan Xishan to GA-ranked status, but some gaps still remain in my research. (i.e. Caleb V. Haynes, Peng Dehuai, and Sanzo Nosaka).
  3. B: The article is well-organized and researched, but still requires further research to fill in gaps in the person's life. It should be well-organized and written, and should not contain any unsourced information that could be challenged by other editors with a "citation needed" tag. (i.e. Zhou Enlai and Wen Jiabao).
  4. C: The article gives a reasonably well-researched overview of a person's life and career, but many of the details will be cursory, challenged, and/or unsourced. A C-ranked biography mentions that person's involvement in major battles, power struggles, or events in that person's life, but will not go into great (reliable) detail. The system of referencing for a C-ranked article may be distinctly un-academic. Most articles which are clearly the result of reliable research but do not go into great detail, or which are detailed but greatly unsourced, should be placed into this category by default. (i.e. Yan Xishan, Wang Jingwei, and Chen Duxiu).
  5. Start: The article has a modest body of information, but is extremely cursory, disorganized, and/or unsourced. (i.e. Xu Xiangqian, Bruno Wu.)
  6. Stub: The article contains almost no information at all. It may only consist of a short definition or paragraph of information. (i.e. Sun Chu and Ye Qun).

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