On May 10, 2018, Cape Breton University Professor Emeritus Dr. Brian Tennyson received the “Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing”, for his book Nova Scotia at War, 1914-1919.The award was one of thirteen given by the The Atlantic Book Awards Society (ABAS) that evening.
“This book was just a delight to write. I’ve enjoyed writing all of my books, but this topic really hadn’t been written about before, so I was learning an awful lot myself. I spent a couple of years with my wife reading old newspapers from all across the province in order to compile information and it was just fascinating,” says Brian.
Dr. Brian Tennyson is a graduate of the University of Toronto and received his Ph.D at the University of London. He began teaching at CBU in 1966 in the Department of History. Although he is now retired, he continues to educate students through the distance program at CBU. Along with his role as a full-time professor, he was also the founder and director of CBU’s Centre for International Studies, which developed and advanced exchange programs for the university, instituted CBU’s international recruitment program and promoted internationalization.
As Dr. Tennyson grew up, even in his young teenage years, he was very interested in the First World War. He found the incredible impact that WWI had on the world, Nova Scotia specifically, accompanied by the transition from a rural to industrialized society during those times intriguing.
Dr. Tennyson has published numerous books on aspects of the history of Cape Breton and Canada’s involvement in the First World War. In his most recent book which earned him the Atlantic Book Award, he explores Nova Scotia’s specific involvement in the First World War. The book also gives an in-depth explanation of how WWI affected the people of Nova Scotia and the economic impact the war had on the province.
Dr. Tennyson is very grateful to have won an Atlantic Book Award and to be recognized by the ABAS committee consisting of peers, editors and publishers. He has been in touch with numerous readers and has received a great amount of positive feedback on his book. Many readers have have even reached out to share stories with him about their family’s history and involvement in WWI.
When asked why it is so important for Canadian university students to continue to study Canadian history, Dr.Tennyson replied, “It’s vital. Not just Canadian history, history from all over the world. It’s essential to be familiar with your history. A very successful writer named William Faulkner said in one of his books ‘The past isn’t dead, the past isn’t even past’, and I believe that to be true.”
Congratulations Dr. Tennyson!