About Ted Allan
Bart Vautour is Assistant Professor of English at Dalhousie University. He is a scholar of Canadian literature, with a particular interest in the interplay between the history of transnational Canadian cultural production and its contemporary publics. He is co-editor, with Erin Wunker, Travis V. Mason, and Christl Verduyn, of Public Poetics: Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics. His is currently completing a monograph project, The Deed Becomes the Word: Canadian Media and Writing on the Spanish Civil War.
Ted Allan (1916–1995) was born Alan Herman in Montréal. A dedicated Young Communist, he was a correspondent for the Toronto Daily Worker and The Clarion, and it was then that he adopted the name Ted Allan to infiltrate a fascist organization and write an exposé. He served in the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, of which This Time a Better Earth is a fictionalized account. His later novel Love Is a Long Shot (1984), which won the Stephen Leacock Award, is a humorous and autobiographical portrait of a teenage socialist. Ted Allan’s best-known book is The Scalpel, the Sword: The Story of Doctor Norman Bethune (1952), written in collaboration with Sydney Gordon and later adapted for the screen.