Tim Cook

Recipient of the 2013 Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: the Pierre Berton Award

November 19, 2013
Canada's History speaks to Tim Cook about his work towards popularizing Canadian military history.

Ottawa (Ontario)

2014 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, which claimed 67,000 Canadians and wounded another 173,000. The event shocked and shaped our burgeoning country and no person or community was left unaffected. Over the past decade, acclaimed historian and author Tim Cook has championed the cause of making military history more accessible, vivid and factual. His best-selling books capture the reader’s attention and heart, as he details the struggles and accomplishments of ordinary Canadians in the face of wartime realities.

For this invaluable perspective about Canadians who have significantly contributed to the shaping of our history, Canada’s History Society is awarding this year’s Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Berton Award to Tim Cook from Ottawa.

As the First World War Historian at the Canadian War Museum, Tim Cook has been project leader in curating six museum exhibitions since the opening in 2005 including the permanent Gallery for the First World War and companion World War I Internet exhibition. He is also the prolific author of six military books and past recipient of the Charles Taylor Prize for non-fiction, the John Dafoe Prize and the Ottawa Book Award. His latest book, Warlords: Borden, Mackenzie King, and Canada’s World Wars, was shortlisted for the 2013 Charles A. Taylor Award for Literary Non-fiction.

“All too often we tend to reflect on Canada’s military history in terms of nations, armies, battles, and geography,” observed Deborah Morrison, President & CEO of Canada’s History Society. “Tim Cook has changed that, reminding us that what happened is not a single story – but the collected stories of the nearly half a million Canadians who served in that war. His tireless efforts and exceptional writing will ensure we will remember…each and every one of them.”

More from Tim Cook

On the Night Table of Tim Cook

I am always reading four or five books at a time, which seems neurotic but allows me to read for pleasure and to do research for upcoming writing projects.

WWI: The Great War of the Mind

Military historian Tim Cook explores the history of shell shock, also known as the "storm centre" of military medicine.

History Idol: Sir Arthur Currie

The Americans have their MacArthur and Patton, the British, their “Monty.” Canadians, whether they know it or not, have Sir Arthur Currie.

Forgotten Victory

The Hill 70 Memorial Project seeks to educate and commemorate overlooked First World War victory.

Down Time

Q&A: Alison Nagy speaks with Tim Cook about how life in the trenches provoked a variety of creative impulses which helped Canadian soldiers cope with and endure the horrors of war.

Time Travel

Book Review: Alan Gordon’s fine book Time Travel explores the rise of living history museums in Canada from the mid-twentieth century. Through animators and reconstructed historical sites, these new museums hoped to bring life to dead history.

Hope in Hell

The things that kept the common fighting man from cracking in the trenches were sometimes very small.