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.”
Canada's History also acknowledges the work of two other exceptional nominees who were short-listed for the prize:
Legion Magazine. This bi-monthly magazine features the work of Canada’s leading military historians, and regularly provides insight into the history of the Royal Canadian Navy, The Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Army. They also introduce readers to our vast collection of war art, produce valued maps, posters and timelines to better illustrate Canada’s military experience. Since 2010, Legion Magazine has invested in publishing a series of critically acclaimed special interest publications chronicling World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
Mark Zuehlke. The success of his first book, Ortona: Canada’s Epic World War II Battle (1999) encouraged Mark to develop The Canadian Battle Series, which documents the Canadian World War II experience in ten books including the most recent one Tragedy at Dieppe: Operation Jubilee, August 19, 1942 published last year. He has been involved in two books on the War of 1812: For Honours Sake which he authored and which won the Lela Common Award for Canadian History in 2007; and, an illustrated history about a family during this pivotal period, The Loxleys and the War of 1812 (2012), for which he wrote the historical summary appendices. His work with the Loxleys has led to his being lead writer on a sequel graphic novel that takes Loxley descendants into the midst of the events that brought about Canada’s confederation.