The On War & Society podcast features interviews with the most prominent historians of war and society. Host Kyle Falcon sits down with his guests to discuss their cutting-edge research, the challenges associated with doing history, and life ‘behind the book.’

On War & Society E36: The Black Watch Snipers with David O’Keefe

David O’Keefe is the author of One Day in August: The Untold Story Behind Canada’s Tragedy at Dieppe and his most recent book, Seven Days in Hell: Canada’s Battle for Normandy and the Rise of the Black Watch Snipers. Never one to shy away from public exposure, O’Keefe has also been prolific in film and television, creating and collaborating in more than fifteen documentaries. In this wide-ranging interview, O’Keefe discusses the thirty-year journey behind his research into the Black Watch snipers, the benefits and challenges of doing history on film and television and the impact that the pandemic has had on research and public outreach.

David O’Keefe is an award-winning historian, documentarian and professor at Marianopolis College in Westmount, Quebec. He served with the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada in the Canadian Forces in Montreal.

Video Series E2: Edward Cecil-Smith and the Spanish Civil War with Tyler Wentzell

Edward Cecil-Smith was a Christian, journalist, playwright, member of the Communist Party of Canada and a volunteer in the Mackenzie–Papineau Battalion during the Spanish Civil War, where he served alongside 17,000 other Canadians and 45,000 internationals. Why did he and other Canadians fight in a foreign war that was not for their king or country? In the second of a two-part special video edition of the On War & Society Podcast, Kyle Falcon sits down with Tyler Wentzell to discuss this forgotten man who fought in a forgotten war, the subject of his book Not For King or Country: Edward Cecil-Smith, The Communist Party of Canada and the Spanish Civil War.

Tyler Wentzell is an independent scholar based in Toronto. He is a Canadian infantry officer and a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. This is his first book.

Past Episodes

Audio Podcast

E35 | Writing Public History with Tim Cook

E34 | The Medic’s Tale with Ted Barris

E33 | Voicing Dissent during the First World War with Geoff Keelan

E32 | The American Civil War: Under the Knife with Shauna Devine

E31 | Haunted by Hitler with Robert Teigrob

E30 | Malplaquet: The Myth of Decisive Battle with Darryl Dee

E29 | Making a Historian with Roger Sarty

E28 | The Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists with Blaine Chiasson

E27 | Assault on the Winter Line with Terry Copp

E26 | Nazis, Canadian Jews and the Second World War with Ellin Bessner

E25 | Ted Barris and the Dam Busters

Special | D-Day in 14 Stories with Elliot Halpern

E24 | Ambitions Unrealized with Linda Quiney

E23 | Stalin’s Gulag with Wilson Bell

E22 | Shell Shock with Mark Humphries

E21 | Rural Canada at War with Jonathan Vance

E20 | Uncovering the Secret History of Soldiers with Tim Cook

E19 | How to Write 7,000 Words in a Week with Tim Cook

E18 | Why Military Families Matter, Part II with Geoffrey Hayes

E17 | Why Military Families Matter, Part I with Geoffrey Hayes

E16 | Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part II with Amy Milne-Smith

E15 | Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part I with Amy Milne-Smith

E14 | Rewriting the Great War with Mark Humprhies

E13 | Family at the Front with Kristine Alexander

E12 | A Microhistory of an Ace with Graham Broad

E11 | Civil War and Identity with Alec Maavara

E10 | Destruction and Dissent in the Marshall Islands with Martha Smith-Norris

E09 | Treating Wounds of the Mind with Meghan Fitzpatrick

E08 | In Search of the Canadian Officer with Geoff Hayes

E07 | The Conscripted with Patrick Dennis

E06 | Dunkirk with Terry Copp

E05 | Did You Fall Into the Vimy Trap? with Geoff Hayes

E04 | Canada’s Arctic Laboratory with Matthew Wiseman

E03 | Complicating History with Mary Chaktsiris

E02 | Somewhere Between War and Society with Terry Copp

E01 | The War Junk Historian with Alex Souchen