My office hours are as follows:
Mondays: 6:00 pm-9:00 pm
Tuesdays: 6:00 pm-9:00 pm
Alberta (Mountain) Time
I receive and return telephone calls during my office hours, as well as respond to e-mail. Keep in mind, however, that you can send me an e-mail or leave a voicemail at any time.
I came to Athabasca University in the summer of 1979 and have taught history here ever since. Over the years, I have worked with literally thousands of students in a variety of history courses. My current duties with the Centre for Humanities in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences lie primarily with our offering of modern European courses. I also assist in course revision and updating, as well as in developing new courses. A few years, I completed the writing of a brand-new course, HIST/GLST 384: Europe Since 1945, and last year I finished a complete revision of HIST 304: Historic Britain: Land, People and Politics from Prehistory to the Augustan Age. Recently, I finished a complete revision of HIST/GLST 367: The Second World War. Frequently, I am asked to review new books in my areas of interest.
I was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, not that long after the end of the Second World War. After completing my formal education at a boys' school and grammar school there, I immigrated to Canada with my family in 1966. My wife Lea and I live in Edmonton with a houseful of books and—now that our children are grown and gone—our two cats who, along with our numerous grandchildren, help to ensure that there is never a dull moment.
As an undergraduate at the University of Alberta, I cultivated a broad knowledge of history by taking courses that ranged from Republican Rome to the religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to Nazi Germany. By the time that I entered graduate studies, I had decided that war studies were to be my main research interest. For my master's degree, I wrote a thesis that dealt with the English civil wars of the seventeenth century, proving to my—and fortunately my oral examination committee's—satisfaction that Sir Thomas Fairfax, not Oliver Cromwell, had been the architect of Parliament's military victory over King Charles I. During the years since then, my interests have expanded to include major conflicts from the Thirty Years' War of the seventeenth century to the world wars of the twentieth century. I am profoundly interested in war studies. My broad interests lie in how wars begin and end, as well as in how they are fought. Beneath this rather general perspective level, however, I am also greatly interested in the structure of command in fighting forces. In addition, I have a particular interest in the choice-of-side loyalty anomalies that arise in civil war command situations.
One of the highlights of my career so far was to meet and chat with the late Sir John Keegan when he came to Edmonton some years ago to promote his then latest book The First World War. His earlier books, particularly The Face of Battle, which I had found to be truly inspiring, had provided the impetus for my keen interest in war studies. I will treasure my signed first edition of The Face of Battle forever.
I have enjoyed teaching history immensely for this university over the years, and I know that I will continue to do so. Most of my encounters with history students have been richly rewarding and mutually profitable...in that I have found that I often learn as much from them as they do from me!
Updated September 10 2014 by Student & Academic Services