University of Calgary

Jack Granatstein

  • Fellow
  • Fellow




OC, PhD, LLD, DScMil, DLitt, DHumLitt, FRSC

Jack Lawrence Granatstein was born in Toronto on 21 May 1939. He attended Whitney Public School and North Toronto Collegiate in Toronto, Le Collège militaire royal de St-Jean (Grad. Dipl., 1959), the Royal Military College, Kingston (B.A., 1961), the University of Toronto (M.A., 1962), and Duke University (Ph.D., 1966). He served in the Canadian Army (1956-66), then joined the History Department at York University, Toronto (1966-95) where, after taking early retirement, he is Distinguished Research Professor of History Emeritus. After leaving York, Granatstein taught courses at the University of Western Ontario and the Royal Military College. He was the Rowell Jackman Fellow at the Canadian Institute of International Affairs (1996-2000) and was a member of the Royal Military College of Canada Board of Governors (1997-2005).

From 1 July 1998 to 30 June 2000, he was the Director and CEO of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. He was then Special Adviser to the Director of the Museum (2000-01), a member of the Canadian War Museum Committee (2001-06), and chair of the Museum’s Advisory Council (2001-06). He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (2006-11) and of its Executive and Development Committees (2009-11) and the Board’s Canadian War Museum Advisory Committee (2007-11). He is curating the Museum’s 2018 exhibit on the Hundred Days, 1918.

Granatstein has been an Officer of the Order of Canada since 1996. He held the Canada Council's Killam senior fellowship twice (1982-84, 1991-93), was the editor of the Canadian Historical Review (1981-84), and was a founder of the Organization for the History of Canada which gave him its first National History Award in 2006. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 1982 and in 1992 was awarded the Society’s J.B. Tyrrell Historical Gold Medal "for outstanding work in the history of Canada." His book, The Generals (1993), won the J.W. Dafoe Prize and the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography. His co-authored Oxford Companion to Canadian Military History won the C.P. Stacey Prize for the Best Book in Canadian Military History, 2010-11. Canada’s National History Society named him the winner of the Pierre Berton Award for popular history (2004), and the Canadian Authors Association gave him its Lela Common Award for Canadian History in 2006. In 2008, the Conference of Defence Associations awarded him its 75th Anniversary Book Prize as “the author deemed to have made the most significant positive contribution to the general public’s understanding of Canadian foreign policy, national security and defence during the past quarter century.” The Conference of Defence Associations Institute presented him the Vimy Award “for achievement and effort in the field of Canadian defence and security” (1996), and he was a Director of the CDAI and a member of its Executive Committee (2005-09). In 2007, he received the General Sir Arthur Currie Award from the Military Museums Society of Calgary, and he was named honorary historian of the Royal Canadian Military Institute.

He has honorary doctorates from Memorial University of Newfoundland (1993), the University of Calgary (1994), Ryerson Polytechnic University (1999), the University of Western Ontario (2000), McMaster University (2000), Niagara University (2004), and the Royal Military College of Canada (2007). The University of Ottawa named him a “Maker of History” in 2011. He is an Associate Senior Fellow of Massey College, Toronto (2000- ).

In 1995 he served as one of three commissioners on the Special Commission on the Restructuring of the [Canadian Forces] Reserves, chaired by the Rt. Hon. Brian Dickson, former Chief Justice of Canada, and in 1997 he advised the Minister of National Defence on the future of the Canadian Forces. He is a national fellow of the University of Calgary’s Centre for Military and Strategic Studies (1997- ), is on the Research Advisory Board of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (2010- ), and was Chair of the Council for Canadian Security in the21st Century (2001-5) for which he wrote monthly columns (2006-07). He is a Fellow of (2008- ) and was a Board of Directors member (2004-10) and Chair of the Advisory Council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute [now the Canadian Global Affairs Institute] (2001-08). He wrote a monthly newspaper column for CGAI (2008-15) and edits the organization’s 3Ds blog [defence, diplomacy, development] (2010- ). He was chair of the Advisory Board of The Vimy Foundation (2010-14).

Granatstein was General Editor (2010-11) for “The Canadian Experience,” a 52-week series of columns that appeared in more than 50 multicultural newspapers and on their websites in 22 languages. He comments regularly on historical questions, defence, and public affairs in the press and on radio and television; he provided the historical commentary for CBC-TV's coverage of the 50th, 60th, and 65th anniversaries of D-Day (1994, 2004, 2009), V-E Day (1995, 2005, 2010), V-J Day (1995), the 90th anniversary of Vimy Ridge (2007), and many Remembrance Days; and he speaks frequently here and abroad. He was, with Michael Bliss, co-organizer and participant in “The History Wars,” a series of sold-out debates at the Royal Ontario Museum (2011-12) and in Ottawa in cooperation with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (2011-13). He has been a historical consultant on many films, including “Canada’s War” (Yap Films, 2004), and he wrote for the National Film Board’s projects to put Canadian Great and Second World War film footage on-line. He wrote a regular book review column for Legion magazine (2006-09) and now writes regular essays, as well as a Cold War history column in each issue of the magazine (2009- ). He was the historical consultant for the Ontario Veterans Memorial (2005-06) and the Gardiner Museum’s Battle of Britain exhibit (2006). He will curate the Canadian War Museum’s exhibit on The Hundred Days, 1918 (2018).

Granatstein writes on 20th Century Canadian national history--the military, defence and foreign policy, Canadian-American relations, the public service, and politics. His many scholarly and popular books and pamphlets include The Politics of Survival: The Conservative Party of Canada 1939-45 (1967, 1970), Peacekeeping: International Challenge and Canadian Response (1968), Conscription in the Second World War (1969), Canadian Foreign Policy Since 1945 (1969, 1970, 1973), Marlborough Marathon: One Street Against a Developer (1971), War and Society in North America (1971), Forum: Canadian Life and Letters 1920-1970 (1972), Canada Since 1867: A Reader’s Guide (1974, 1977, 1982), Canadian-American Relations in Wartime (1975, 1977), Canada's War: The Politics of the Mackenzie King Government, 1939-45 (1975, 1990, 2016), Ties that Bind: Canadian-American Relations in Wartime (1975), Mackenzie King (1976, 1978, 2000), Mackenzie King: His Life and World (1977), Broken Promises: A History of Conscription in Canada (1977, 1985, 2015), American Dollars/Canadian Prosperity (1978), A Man of Influence: Norman Robertson and Canadian Statecraft (1981), The Gouzenko Transcripts (1982), The Ottawa Men: The Civil Service Mandarins, 1935-57 (1982, 1998, 2015), Twentieth Century Canada (1983, 1986, 1989), Bloody Victory: Canadians and the D-Day Campaign (1984, 1994), The Great Brain Robbery: Canada's Universities on the Road to Ruin (1984), Sacred Trust: Brian Mulroney and the Conservative Party in Power (1985), Canada 1957-1967: The Years of Uncertainty and Innovation (1986; ebook, 2016), The Collins Dictionary of Canadian History (1986), Twentieth Century Canada: A Reader (1986), How Britain's Weakness Forced Canada into the Arms of the United States (1989), Marching to Armageddon: Canadians and the Great War (1989), A Nation Forged in Fire: Canadians and the Second World War (1989), Pirouette: Pierre Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Policy (1990,1991), Spy Wars: Canada and Espionage from Gouzenko to Glasnost (1990, 1992), Mutual Hostages: Canadians and Japanese in World War II (1990; Japanese ed., 1994), For Better or For Worse: Canada and the United States to the 1990s (1991, 1992, 2007), War and Peacekeeping: From South Africa to the Gulf--Canada's Limited Wars (1991), English Canada Speaks Out (1991), Dictionary of Canadian Military History (1992, 1994), The Generals: The Canadian Army's Senior Commanders in the Second World War (1993, 1995, 2005), Empire to Umpire: Canadian Foreign Policy to the 1990s (1994, 2007), Welfare States in Trouble: Canada and Sweden in Historical Perspective (1994, 1995), Canada at the Crossroads?: The Critical 1960s (1995), Victory 1945: Canadians from War to Peace (1995), The Good Fight: Canadians and World War II (1995), Yankee Go Home? Canadians and Anti-Americanism (1996, 1997), Petrified Campus: Canada’s Universities in Crisis (1997, 1998), The Canadian 100: The Hundred Most Influential Canadians of the Twentieth Century (1997, 1998), The Veterans Charter and Post-World War II Canada (1998, 1999), Who Killed Canadian History? (1998, 1999, 2007), Trudeau’s Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Pierre Trudeau (1998, 1999), Prime Ministers: Rating the Prime Ministers (1999, 2000), Our Century: The Canadian Journey (2000, 2001), Canada’s Army: Waging War and Keeping the Peace (2002, 2004, 2011), First Drafts: Eyewitness Accounts from Canada’s Past (2003, 2004), Canada and the Two World Wars (2003), The Importance of Being Less Earnest: Promoting Canada’s National Interests through Tighter Ties with the U.S. (2003), Who Killed the Canadian Military? (2004, 2008), Hell’s Corner: An Illustrated History of Canada’s Great War (2004), Battle Lines: First Person Military Accounts from Our Past (2004, 2010), The Last Good War: An Illustrated History of Canada in the Second World War, 1939-1945 (2005), The Special Commission on the Restructuring of the Reserves, 1995: Ten Years Later (2005), The Land Newly Found: Eyewitness Accounts of the Canadian Immigration Experience (2006), Whose War Is It? How Canada Can Survive in the Post-9/11 World (2007, 2008), A Threatened Future: Canada’s Future Strategic Environment and Its Security Implications (2007), The Oxford Companion to Canadian Military History (2010), Lessons Learned? What Canada Should Learn from Afghanistan (2011), WWII: The War That Had to be Won (2011), The Canadian Forces in 2025: Prospects and Problems (2013), The Greatest Victory: Canada's Hundred Days 1918 (2014), Liberating Normandy (2014), The Best Little Army in the World: The Canadians in Northwest Europe, 1944-45 (2015), The Weight of Command: Views of Canada’s Second World War Generals and Those Who Knew Them (2016), and From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki (2016). He and Robert Bothwell are completing a book of interviews about Pierre Trudeau’s defence and foreign policies (2017).

Granatstein is married to Dr Linda Grayson and lives in Toronto.

Photograph of Jack Granatstein

Curriculum Vitae

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