On War & Society E19: How to Write 7,000 Words in a Week, with Tim Cook

by | Dec 4, 2018 | LCSC, Podcast | 0 comments

Tim Cook loves to write. As many Canadian historians will attest, Tim is one of the most prolific writers in the profession––both in terms of volume and content. Since 1998, Tim has published a dozen books on the First and Second World Wars, greatly advancing our knowledge of both. But how does he do it? In this month’s episode, Tim discusses the process of researching and writing, as well as his new book, The Secret History of Soldiers, published with Allen Lane this year. In a jaw-dropping statement, Tim revealed how many words he writes per week.

Tim Cook is the First World War historian at the Canadian War Museum. He has published a dozen books on the history of the First and Second World Wars and is the recipient of many awards for his writing including the RBC Taylor Prize, the J.W. Dafoe Prize (twice) and the C.P. Stacey Prize (twice). He was recently awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media. Tim is a Member of the Order of Canada.


Tim Cook. At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1914–1916. Toronto: Viking Canada, 2007.

——. Clio’s Warriors: Canadian Historians and the Writing of the World Wars. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2006.

——. Fight to the Finish: Canadians Fighting the Second World War, 1944–1945. Toronto: Allen Lane, 2015.

——. “‘More a Medicine than a Beverage’: ‘Demon Rum’ and the Canadian Trench Soldier of the First World War,” Canadian Military History 9, no. 1 (2000): 6–22.

——. The Necessary War: Canadians Fighting the Second World War, 1939­–1943. Toronto: Allen Lane, 2014.

——. No Place to Run: The Canadian Corps and Gas Warfare in the First World War. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1998.

——. The Secret History of Soldiers: How Canadians Survived the Great War. Toronto: Allen Lane, 2018.

——. Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1917–1918. Toronto: Viking Canada, 2008.

——. “The Top Ten Most Important Books of Canadian Military History.” Canadian Military History 18, no. 4 (2009): 65–74.

Richard Holmes. Firing Line. London: Cape, 1985.

Desmond Morton. When Your Number’s Up: The Canadian Soldier in the Great War. Toronto: Random House, 1993.

Bill Rawling. Surviving Trench Warfare: Technology and the Canadian Corps, 1914–1918. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992.