On November 2, 2011, CBC celebrates its 75th anniversary and CBC Books is taking part in the celebration with a look back at 75 years of Canadian literature. Over the years, CBC has interviewed authors known and new, covered literary awards and hosted book clubs. CBC personalities have written books themselves; some have had books written about them. Join us this month as we feature some of our favourite moments and books from the past 75 years!
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Pierre Berton was a man of many interests, and his publications reflect that. Before he died in 2004 at the age of 84, Berton penned 50 books on a wide variety of subjects ranging from popular culture to religion. Most of his books focused on Canadian history, and he is often credited with popularizing the subject.
Aside from history and his wife Janet, his other main passion was food. He and his wife published a Canadian food guide for the Centennial in 1967. At the time of its release, they went on the CBC-TV show Telescope to encourage Canadians to eat well and not waste food.
Berton's interest in food continued, and in 1978, he joined Peter Gzowski on his late-night talk show 90 Minutes Live to talk about Cuisinarts. Yes, you read that correctly. In this clip, Berton demonstrates how to slice onions and potatoes with the new-at-the-time kitchen gadget, but things don't go according to plan. Berton tries to stop the spinning blade with his hand, leading Gzowski to cut to a commercial early. Ever the trooper, Berton went back on 90 Minutes Live the next night to continue his demonstration.
For more on Pierre Berton, visit the Digital Archives.