Carl Berger (historian)
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Carl Berger Historian

Carl C. Berger
Born1939 (age 81–82)
The Pas, Manitoba
OccupationProfessor, historian
AwardsGovernor General's Award
Academic background
EducationB.A., University of Manitoba
M.A., University of Toronto
PhD, University of Toronto
Doctoral advisorMaurice Careless
Academic work
Doctoral studentsDoug Owram
Notable worksThe Sense of Power (1970)
The Writing of Canadian History (1976, 2nd ed. 1986)

Carl Berger is a Canadian academic and author. He was a professor of Canadian history at the University of Toronto from 1964 until his retirement in 2003. His research interests are Canadian intellectual history and Canadian historiography. His 1976 book, The Writing of Canadian History, was the first in-depth study of Canadian historiography, eliciting critical praise and winning the Governor General's Award.

Early life and education

Carl Berger was born in The Pas, Manitoba, in 1939. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Manitoba in 1961 and his master's degree at the University of Toronto in 1962. He completed his PhD at the University of Toronto in 1967, supervised by historian Maurice Careless.[1]

Academic career

Berger was appointed at the University of Toronto in 1964,[1] serving as a professor in Canadian history until his retirement in 2003.[2] He served as the doctoral advisor of several prominent Canadian historians,[1] including Gerald Friesen, a professor at the University of Manitoba; Doug Owram, a professor, deputy vice chancellor and principal for the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus; Brook Taylor, a professor at Mount St. Vincent University; Michael Gauvreau, a professor at McMaster University;[2] and historian Marlene Shore.[1]

Research and publications

Berger's research has focused on Canada's intellectual history and Canadian historiography. His 1970 book, The Sense of Power: Studies in the Ideas of Canadian Imperialism, 1867-1914, argues that Canadian nationalism originated in British imperialism. Historian Terry Crowley writes that the book "added a new dimension to historical scholarship in revealing the complicated roles that ideas play in history".[1]

His 1976 book, The Writing of Canadian History: Aspects of English-Canadian Historical Writing since 1900, was the first in-depth work of Canadian historiography,[1] earning critical praise.[3] A second edition followed in 1986. Crowley calls the book a "landmark", writing that it "cast a mirror on an academic discipline that had been little prone to introspection".[1]

Awards and honours

The Writing of Canadian History won the Governor General's Award.[3] In 1976 Berger was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, with the Society awarding him the J. B. Tyrrell Historical Medal in 1984.[2]




  1. ^ a b c d e f g Crowley 1997, p. 95.
  2. ^ a b c "C.C. (Carl) Berger". University of Toronto: Faculty of Arts & Science: Department of History. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  3. ^ a b Cross 1977, p. 469.


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