Trent University history professor Robert Wright set the academic world on fire with a path-breaking and prize-winning book documenting one of Canada’s outstanding international events. Our Man in Tehran describes how, in 1979, Ambassador Ken Taylor, along with his wife Pat and diplomatic counterparts, arranged for the safe harbour and ultimate escape of six Americans who narrowly avoided a hostage taking. Wright worked closely with Mr. Taylor on the historical book that accurately chronicled the events in Iran: their work included endless phone calls and reviews of conversations from original dispatches. The book was produced in time for the 13th anniversary of the crisis and later become an award-winning movie.
Wright has built his career by challenging the way we think about Canadian history, foreign policy, and sovereignty issues. In 1979, Americans were held in thrall as media updated the nation on the fate of its hostages and the Canadians who had orchestrated an intrepid escape. Americans celebrated in the streets across the nation, raising banners that read “Thank you, Canada!” and to this day the story stands as an enduring model of international co-operation between the U.S. and Canada.