Talk:Alphonse Alley

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Good article Alphonse Alley has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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February 3, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
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GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Alphonse Alley/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Ealdgyth - Talk 15:34, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I'll be reviewing this article shortly. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:34, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
  • General comments:
    • What makes a reliable source? It looks like a self-published site by one person (see
      • While might not be the most reliable source, I am hesitant to remove it because it is the only source which mentions his death date. You'd think I would be able to find an obituary, but google news archive throws up nothing. Is there anything I'm skipping over? ~EDDY (talk/contribs)~ 23:39, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
        • It fails WP:RS, quite honestly. How can we know this is the right death date? Ealdgyth - Talk 15:53, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
          • Ehh... has been accurate in every other death date for world leaders which I have checked with other sources. I don't think it's reliable according to the rules of Wikipedia however. Do you know of any obituaries that I can look up? There has to be one out there. ~EDDY (talk/contribs)~ 00:43, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
    • Suggest having a map to locate Benin/Dahomey in Africa as well as the Bassila locator map?
    • Did he ever marry? Children?
  • Lead:
    • "After the coup in 1965, President Christophe Soglo promoted Alley Chief of Staff of the Army." - do we have articles on the 1965 coup? and the Dahomian army? If so, linky. If not, red-linky…
    • "Kouandété launched another coup against Soglo on December 17…" another coup? I guess I'm not clear on what was the first coup?
      • I don't see what is unclear here. The article mentioned the first coup, in 1965. Dahomey probably holds the world record for most coups in a single country. :) ~EDDY (talk/contribs)~ 02:56, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
        • This is in the lead of the article, not the body. There is no other coup mentioned before this sentence, which is the first sentence of the second paragraph of the lead. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:53, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
          • "After the coup in 1965, President Christophe Soglo promoted Alley Chief of Staff of the Army." ~EDDY (talk/contribs)~ 00:46, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Military background:
    • Linky for Widji ethnic group?
  • Military background:
    • I'm unclear what is meant by "Alley was taken out in late 1953…" do you mean withdrawn? If so, by whom?
    • Linky Saint Maxient Officer School?
    • "… where he was given a paratrooper insignia." kinda implies that he didn't earn the insignia, was this the case? If so, needs to make it clear why this is so, if not, needs rewording to remove the implication.
    • "Academic Samued Decalo described Alley…" do you mean "historian" or "scholar"? Academic is a rather archaic word to use here.
    • Historian. Clarified. ~EDDY (talk/contribs)~ 04:05, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Later life:
    • Who said "ignoble and barbarous imperialist armed aggression of Sunday, January 16, 1977"? needs inline attribution.
      • A government report. Clarified. ~EDDY (talk/contribs)~ 04:37, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I've put the article on hold for seven days to allow folks to address the issues I've brought up. Feel free to contact me on my talk page, or here with any concerns, and let me know one of those places when the issues have been addressed. If I may suggest that you strike out, check mark, or otherwise mark the items I've detailed, that will make it possible for me to see what's been addressed, and you can keep track of what's been done and what still needs to be worked on. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:06, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
      • What's our status on this? Anything needing clarification? Ealdgyth - Talk 17:27, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
It's been two weeks, and looks like everything is either addressed or waiting for agreement on both sides. We near a finish here? Wizardman Operation Big Bear 05:26, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm still poking around trying to find a replacement for the Any luck Eddy? Ealdgyth - Talk 14:24, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Not really. I could try lending the Historical dictionary of Benin and hoping he's in there, but that would probably take a couple of weeks. ~EDDY (talk/contribs)~ 19:01, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Let's comment the info out and leave it unknown and keep poking. Broad coverage is the GA standard, not comprehensive, and if we have no reliable source for the death date, better to leave it out pending finding a reliable source. THat's all that's standing in the way here. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:15, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
It's not a reliable source, so it really needs to go. RS is pretty much a hard and fast rule here for GA standard. Any progress? Ealdgyth - Talk 14:59, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Passing now. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:37, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Birth and death dates[edit]

Regarding the birth and death dates, the early history of the en-Wikipedia article has the following:

Some discussion of this matter and the sources is also here. For what it is worth, the German Wikipedia article has an unsourced mention of plans in 2004 for a memorial tomb (mausoleum) for him in the town where he was born. I'm going to ask Sesel, Editorofthewiki and Canadian Paul to comment here and see if they can help. I'm sure it is possible to find a better source for the death date. Carcharoth (talk) 10:36, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

As I have said, I am in the process of acquiring the Historical Dictionary of Benin, 1995 edition. This should take a couple weeks, but will hopefully clear up all death date issues. ~EDDY (talk/contribs)~ 20:24, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
It won't. I can access that book from NetLibrary and it confirms the birth date but does not give a date of death, merely saying he "returned home after the fall of Kérékou," which happened in 1991. This means that either the book is incorrect or Alley outlived what is now given as his date of death. —Sesel (talk) 22:50, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, the International Who's Who for the early 1990s list him without a death year, but that might not mean much either. There was or is a son with a similar name, I think. Sesel, you added the death date originally - can you remember where you got it from? Carcharoth (talk) 23:52, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I can't be of much help. I based my edit off the assumption that was a reliable source, but if the Historical Dictionary of Benin contradicts it, the apparently it is not (or, at least, not in this case). I did some more quick searching, but there's nothing clearly authoritative/reliable that I could find to support the DOD, or even confirm that he is deceased. Canadian Paul 23:39, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Following up the unsourced hint given on the German Wikipedia, I found the story about the mausoleum planned for him. The story is from August 2004, and refers to his death 17 years previously, so that corroborates the 1987 year, but not the exact date. Someone who subscribes (or wants to subscribe) to will be able to read the full article. I will look for more in African French-language sources. Carcharoth (talk) 00:04, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm just wondering how there can be this little written about Alley's later life, considering he was president of a country for a period. With Hubert Maga, there was 1 NYT obituary to confirm he's dead. That's it. I guess no one cares about Benin. ~EDDY (talk/contribs)~ 01:40, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps there might be something in the French press? Malleus Fatuorum 01:57, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I found this, which mostly describes current Benin politics, but also mentions that Alley's tomb was never inaugurated. So it looks like internal strife still rules in Benin politics. As for Eddy's point about lack of coverage, Alley only had a few months in which for people to take notice of him. After that, it's not surprising that he sank out of the (international) public eye. Carcharoth (talk) 19:03, 6 February 2011 (UTC)