John Irwin Cooper (1905-1994) specialized in the history of Montreal and Quebec, with works such as "Montreal, the story of Three Hundred Years" (1942) and "James McGill of Montreal: Citizen of the Atlantic World" (paperback published posthumously in 2003, Borealis). Born in St. Thomas, Ontario, Cooper studied at various schools, and received McGill University's first Ph.D. in History. He rose to become full professor at McGill, training several generations of Canadian historians.
Books by John Irwin Cooper
James McGill of Montreal: Citizen of the Atlantic World
213 pages, Paperback ISBN: 9780888872203 $24.95 CA
About the Book
What stands out so vividly for me about John Cooper, as literally "my professor" at McGill, was the time he was willing to spend with me as I was finishing my Honours History degree. I remember him meeting me each week for discussions and reports on my progress! He was an earnest and serious questioner, wise advisor, and plain and unpretentious academic. His example encouraged me to try to become a scholar and teacher. I cherish his memory and his "good works."
Information and Privacy Commissioner, British Columbia (retired), and Emeritus Professor, University of Western Ontario
What I remember best is the character of the one to one discussions across his desk. John offered well reasoned criticism and constant encouragement. Professor Cooper was the ideal research director and those sessions have always seemed to me to be a model for good teaching and learning.
Professor of History and Co-Director of the Centre for Military, Strategic, and Disarmament Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University.
Cooper's work on Montreal's social life in the nineteenth century was important and valuable to those, like myself, who tried to understand its transformation from frontier town to metropolis. John Cooper gave me enormously valuable help in that quest and I will always remember him as a fine teacher and friend.
Professor Emeritus, Department of History, Queens University
My own path took a turn in a different direction, to Geneva with the United Nations system in its early decades. In a real sense, Cooper's guidance towards understanding how distinct cultural communities could coexist with little reciprocal interaction other than among their elite leadership was for me an apprenticeship to the issues of international organization and international relations.
Robert W. Cox,
International Labour Organization, Geneva (retired) and Emeritus Professor, York University.
After five rewarding years with John Cooper in Montreal, my studies took me to Princeton, Africa, and Canada, but out ties remained strong and our contacts meaningful. John's mind continued active, his interest in history and the church constant, and I lost a true mentor and friend with his passing.
Presbyterian Church of Canada