Course Director

Ted Barris
Ted Barris is an award-winning journalist, author, and broadcaster. His writing has regularly appeared in the national press, as well as magazines as diverse as Air Force, esprit de corps and Zoomer. He has also worked as host/contributor for most CBC Radio network programs, PBS in the U.S. and on TV Ontario. And after 18 years teaching, he recently retired as a full-time professor of journalism at Toronto’s Centennial College.

Barris is the author of 20 bestselling, non-fiction books, including a series on wartime Canada: Juno: Canadians at D-Day, June 6, 1944 … Days of Victory: Canadians Remember 1939-1945 … Behind the Glory: Canada’s Role in the Allied Air War … Deadlock in Korea: Canadians at War, 1950-1953 … Victory at Vimy: Canada Comes of Age, April 9-12, 1917 … Breaking the Silence: Veterans’ Untold Stories from the Great War to Afghanistan.

His writing has also been published in such anthologies as The Canadian Encyclopedia … Total Hockey: The Official NHL Encyclopedia … A History of Maple Leaf Gardens … and a volume of learned papers presented to the Canada-Korea Conference at the U of T.

Picture of Ted Barris
Ted Barris

Term and Time

Winter 2024 – starting January 12
9:50 am on Friday morning
Room A100 in York Hall

Course Description

Columnist Robert Fulford once wrote, “History is a party to which Canada has not been invited.” Whether it’s our youth (a nation of only 156 years), our lack of self-confidence (we’re not a British lion or an American eagle) or our global reputation as quiet peacemakers not warriors, Canadians never boast about their accomplishments making history. Yet, if one examines the past more closely, Canadians have played pivotal roles in momentous events, particularly in wartime.

In this lecture series, Ted Barris will explore: 1) the role of the humble steamboat in assuring Confederation; 2) the unpredicted victory at Vimy Ridge in WWI; 3) how a Canadian scheme in WWII ensured victory in the air war over Europe; 4) what Canadians did in the famous Dam Busters raid; 5) the leading roles Canadians played in the Great Escape; 6) what Canadians accomplished on D-Day that other Allied forces did not; 7) why Canadians are considered “liberators” to the Dutch; 8) how Canadians assisted in the first-ever defence of the UN Peace Charter in Korea; 9) what has made Canadian veterans leaders in understanding PTSD; 10) how Canadian naval, merchant, air force and civilian know-how won the longest and toughest battle of WWII, the Battle of the Atlantic.

Course Outline

Two weeks before the course starts, you can download a printable PDF giving the 10-week detailed course outline.

Lecture Notes

Links to resources such as additional reading or play lists are provided here as the Course Director makes them available during the term.

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