Talk:Frederick Russell Burnham/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

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Reviewer: Wehwalt (talk · contribs) 12:43, 9 June 2013 (UTC) I'll give this one a shot.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:43, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Here's a long list of picky comments which goes beyond a GAN but I expect you plan to take it further so you might as well get it now.
Lede
  • I would omit "thus". I think it is implied. Also, soon after, I'd omit "only a"
  • I would pare down the list of engagements in the infobox. You might want to have someone from milhist look over this article.
Early life
  • Reservation should be lower case.
  • Does a one-year-old actually witness things? It should be made clear, I suspect, that the basket was not in the house when it was burned down. A barn?
  • It was outside. Fixed accordingly in article. Ctatkinson (talk) 02:01, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • The "died" at the end of the sentence for B's dad should be moved earlier in the sentence.
  • "baby brother". Younger brother. The "Burnham was only 12" might be more effective at the end of the paragraph. The reader is more likely to be impressed by his age in connection with his going solo than with respect to the death of his father.
  • As both Arizona and Oklahoma were territories then, I would refer to them as such "Arizona Territory", and link to the territorial articles.
  • "cattle and mining interests." Perhaps too vague "herding cattle and prospecting"?
  • Fixed accordingly by PumpkinSky.Ctatkinson (talk) 02:03, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • The final paragraph of the section is a bit jarring. First it should be in the past tense. I would place that information somewhere within the section rather than ending with it. Perhaps when you discuss little brother going east with mom?
Milcareer
  • You might want to scatter a few (today in (country)) where appropriate.
That is, not everyone knows where these places are, you might want to put a (today in Zimbabwe) in where appropriate.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:30, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Rhodesian histories in particular? Did he go out of fashion when Mugabe came in?
  • The exploits of most Rhodesian colonists did fall out of favor when Mugabe came in and the history of Zimbabwe continues to be re-written from a predominantly Shona perspective. Ctatkinson (talk) 01:36, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • " transport the copper through Mozambique" Since you use "copperbelt" immediately before this, perhaps "ore" or "metal".
  • can you not merge some of the short sections? A one paragraph one is too short to stand on its own in my view.
  • Open to ideas. It'd put two+ different topics in a section. PumpkinSky talk 22:17, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I've consolidated several short sections. Ctatkinson (talk) 18:23, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • " Second Matabele War" I would use the term in the prose and then say Zimbabwe calls it a First War of Independence, or whatever it was.
  • The killing of Mlimo is a heck of a story! No longer PC, I fear.
  • No longer PC may be the reason why nobody today has made Burnham's Scouting on Two Continents into a film. Ctatkinson (talk) 01:57, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • A quote from Roosevelt's great tribute would be nice, if it's handy. I wonder if he met Meeker …
  • I have none of these books. PumpkinSky talk 23:48, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Think of these as suggestions.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:07, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • " while prospecting in Skagway, Alaska" quibble. He would be unlikely to be prospecting IN Skagway, which was a port where the trails into the Yukon started.
  • PumpkinSky has changed the text accordingly. Ctatkinson (talk) 01:41, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I think that the Second Boer War could do with a sentence or two capsule description of why they were fighting, and who the blip Lord Roberts was.
  • PumpkinSky and I have added to the context of the paragraph with cites accordingly. Ctatkinson (talk) 01:45, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • " given a commission by Lord Roberts" A quibble. Was it Roberts doing the commissioning? Or technically the Queen. You'll find our British reviewers can be very picky over the proper language in this situation.
  • Roberts made Burnham a captain at the start of the war. This was not a commission and I have changed the text accordingly. Later, the King did give Burnham a commission as a major and that is already well cited in the article. Ctatkinson (talk) 01:26, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Some unsourced matter I'd like to see cleared up.
  • " looking for a critical choke point along the Pretoria-Delagoa Bay railway line" maybe "trying to identify the best choke point along the Pretoria-Delagoa Bay railway line" and move up the explanation of why he was doing this.
  • Did the Boers not pursue him, or did they not see the shot strike the horse?
  • Burnham states the following on pg. 343 of Scouting on Two Continents: When I believed myself a safe four hundred years for the Boers, I pulled Stembok [his horse] to a canter and straightened in the saddle. But some Boer scout had paid no attention to the British fire and kept pumping steadily at my dim, retreating pony, and even at this great distance, in the moonlight, he managed to send one bullet true. My last vision of my good Stembok was his silhouette against the sky, legs in air, directly over me. When I came to, the half moon was just setting, so I knew the time to be about two hours later". I have added context to the article accordingly. Ctatkinson (talk) 02:58, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • "heroically" consider omitting. It speaks for itself. Something could be said about his no doubt fit for a hero reception in the UK? Also, why "Nevertheless," because he didn't win the VC? Few have.
  • In the image, you might want to say which is Burnham and which is Churchill.
  • Named in caption everyone known in the photo. Ctatkinson (talk) 01:49, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I wonder if the scouting activities paragraphs (basically everything which follows the deGroot quote in that subsection) should be separated off and placed later, possibly titled == Scouting activities == or some such.
  • " lake of carbonate of soda in Tanzania." German East Africa.
  • "the Committee on Agriculture" House or Senate?
Not sure yet. Both the House and the Senate have a Committee on Agriculture. Tomorrow, I'll need to check the names of the congressmen present against the historical records and clarify.Ctatkinson (talk) 03:45, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
House. Now fixed. Ctatkinson (talk) 18:52, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
  • "They had three children together, but only one survived into adulthood. In the early years, she watched over the children and the pack animals, always careful to keep a rifle within arms length." my first thought was "were two of the kids taken by hyenas?"
  • I think you should finish the life stories before talking about all his family members. So I'd put death first.
  • It's probably beyond the scope of the GAN, but you should at some point clean up that legacy section. It really reads trivially, and it's rather disjointed. Possibly call it "Tributes", but it needs to be more cohesive. A good case could be made in my opinion, that Burnham's legacy is Scouting.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:37, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Now fixed. I believe we have adequately addressed the issues identified for the GAN review and I think the article reads much better with these changes. Let us know if anything further is needed and many thanks for your help. Ctatkinson (talk) 19:09, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Seen, you're welcome. I'll look it over tonight.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:07, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Britt, Albert (1923). "Chapter 3. The Last of the Scouts". The Boys' own Book of Adventurers. New York: Macmillan.
This reference is not used. --  Gadget850 talk 13:30, 17 August 2013 (UTC)