Jean Norton Cru did not consider himself a historian. Yet his life’s work, Témoins (Witnesses), written for historians, is an exceptional book of historiography of 1914 to 1918 and a pioneering reflection on the testimony of social actors at that time. Cru was a maverick who was uncompromising towards those people with an established reputation. He sparked heated debates.
Jean Norton Cru (1879-1949) was influenced in his youth by a liberal Protestant upbringing; a life of liberty on the island of Maré in the Pacific Ocean where his father was a missionary; and the accumulation of wrongs committed by the anti-Dreyfus side during the famous Dreyfus Affair. Starting in 1908, Cru taught at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he remained until 1945 (except during the First World War).
(Taken from International Encyclopedia of WWII)