Talk:George Wilkes/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · Watch

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 22:24, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

I'll be glad to take this review. Initial comments to follow in the next 1-3 days. Thanks in advance for your work on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 22:24, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Initial comments[edit]

On first pass, this looks good: well written, well researched, and ripe for promotion. It's very brief, but it's understandable that this is a subject that there wouldn't be a lot about, and the main aspects appear to be covered. I made a few tweaks as I went; please doublecheck that I haven't inadvertently introduced any error, and feel free to revert anything you disagree with. Here's two points I couldn't immediately fix myself:

  • "as Wilkes drove the older paper out of business" -- "older" is a slightly confusing way to put this, as Dayton's paper is only two years old in a way, even if it inherited the older name. Perhaps just "other"?
  • "Wilkes' Spirit was one of the three leading newspapers in New York City, two of which were mainly devoted to horse racing - the other being Turf, Field and Farm" -- I'm a little unclear on this phrasing. Was Spirit primarily devoted to horse racing? Or is it the other two that were, one of which is named here? -- Khazar2 (talk) 23:05, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

3a check[edit]

Reviewing some JSTOR sources on Wilkes, I see perhaps one more item that would seem to be a "main aspect" of Wilkes' biography, his management of a company for colonizing Baja California. Do you have JSTOR access to look at George Wilkes: The Transformation of a Radical Ideology, Alexander Saxton, American Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Autumn, 1981), pp. 437-458? If not, let me know and I can forward a copy to you by e-mail. This article also includes some good discussion of his and his paper's political stances. This article-- "Straight Toward His Heart": George Wilkes' Eulogy of David C. Broderick Donald E. Hargis, George Wilkes California Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Sep., 1959), pp. 197-217--seems to have some good info on his friendship with Broderick if you're interested in using it to expand, but doesn't seem as much like a "main aspect". -- Khazar2 (talk) 23:22, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Checklist[edit]

Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct. Minor prose points noted above. Spotchecks of Betts and New York Times sources show no evidence of copyright issues.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines.
2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic. See note about land speculation company above.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by media such as images, video, or audio:
6a. media are tagged with their copyright statuses, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content.
6b. media are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.
7. Overall assessment. Pass
I've seen this - will get to it either tonight or tomorrow ... real life seems to have exploded in my face. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:33, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
No rush at all--this weekend or next week would be fine. Hang in there! -- Khazar2 (talk) 13:40, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Okay, dealt with the two prose issues. Saxton's views are ... that. I'd rather deal with the political stances taken by the paper in the paper's article, and the Baja thing seems to have been only slightly connected to Wilkes. Saxton's views don't seem to be necessarily those of other writers on the subject of Wilkes - I suppose we could say that Wilkes was on the board of directors of the company, but there is no supporting evidence given in Saxton's article that Wilkes actually wrote the deceptive brochure or that he took a large part of the running of the company. *IF* I ever expand this article towards FA, it'd be something to work in, but I'm not sure Saxton's views are notable, honestly. (I already had the article, and found the prose style to be incredibly purplish and non-scholarly, which also inclines me to avoid using it. More written from the point of view of a literature professor than a history professor, if you take my meaning.) I just don't see how the Baja thing is that major an aspect of his life ... it's not mentioned at all by most other writers on his life. If he'd been the president or CEO of the company, it'd be more important, but a trustee/director isn't nearly as influential. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:30, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
If there were a lot more sources on George Wilkes to compare it to, I think I'd agree. But it seems a shame to leave out the research of several peer-reviewed journal articles when the current article only appears to have one source (the unsigned DNB entry) that focuses on Wilkes, and predates the other research by some decades. It gets admittedly tricky when dealing with a subject like Wilkes, about whom almost nothing has been written, to judge the difference between "main aspects" (required) and "comprehensiveness" (not required) or "omission of some major facts" (allowed). Saxton's article is clearly an RS by Wiki-standards, and I don't see any special reason to be skeptical of its findings.
So here's what I propose. I feel like 1-2 sentences mentioning his role in the Baja corporation would be helpful, but not a sine qua non to hit GA status.
Reading the Saxton and the Hargis again, both of them also heavily emphasize Wilkes' role in Broderick's career, which isn't really addressed in the article yet. Since this seems to be the reason Wilkes pops up most in JSTOR, this does seem like a main aspect and worth at least a paragraph to give a touch of context on who Broderick is and the fact that Wilkes worked as an early campaign manager for him. (The 1854 judge commission mentioned in Hargis is an interesting incident that seems worth including, though again not strictly required to hit GA.)
On a much smaller note, Saxton and Hargis both disagree with the DNB on the date that Wilkes went to CA, giving it as 1852 and 1850, respectively, rather than 1849; there's probably no good way to resolve this save to note the discrepancy in text or in a footnote, or give a range of dates he might have gone.
Sound okay? Thanks again for all your work on this. -- Khazar2 (talk) 14:48, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Added some per the above. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:43, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! I think this one's good to go. -- Khazar2 (talk) 20:23, 28 April 2013 (UTC)