Modris Eksteins

Modris Eksteins (born December 13, 1943 in Riga, Latvia) is a Canadian historian with a special interest in German history and modern culture.

His works include Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age (1989), which won the Wallace K. Ferguson Prize and the Trillium Book Award, Walking Since Daybreak: A Story of Eastern Europe, World War II and the Heart of Our Century (1999), which juxtaposes the history of World War II and Latvia with personal memoir, and won the Pearson Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize, and Solar Dance: Genius, Forgery, and the Eclipse of Certainty (2012), which seeks to interpret the enormous posthumous success of Vincent van Gogh and discusses his forger Otto Wacker,[1] and won the 2012 British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

After immigrating to Canada as a child, Eksteins, son of a Baptist minister, settled first in Winnipeg and then in Toronto, where he attended Upper Canada College on scholarship and graduated with a BA in 1965 from the University of Toronto (Trinity College). He then studied at Oxford University (St. Antony's College) as a Rhodes Scholar, earning his BPhil in 1967, and DPhil in 1970.[2] He is professor emeritus of history at University of Toronto Scarborough since 1970.[3]



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