Wentzell is a serving Canadian military officer, a historian, and a lawyer. He works at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto and my research focuses on extremist groups in 1930s Canada, their motivations and transnational networks, and state responses thereto. In particular, he has examined the motivations of members of the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) who proceeded overseas to fight in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the role of the Soviet Union in organizing and inspiring them, as well as Canadian police investigations, censorship, and legislation meant to isolate CPC leadership, prevent the departure of foreign fighters, and counter the perceived threat upon their return.
Wentzell is presently working on two research projects. The first is a nearly complete book about a Canadian Trotskyist revolutionary who went to Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. This work draws on his extensive personal papers to look at the drivers of his radicalization. The second is a book chapter about the individuals implicated in the early Cold War spy trials.