Atlantic Canada’s 100 Greatest Books:The Education of Everett Richardson
here is what Atlantic Canada’s 100 Greatest Books says about THE EDUCATION OF EVERETT RICHARDSON:
“In The Education of Everett Richardson, Silver Donald Cameron recounts the history of the Maritimes’ first major fishing strike (running through 1970 and 1971, when some two hundred and fifty fishermen in three tiny eastern ports fought for the right to organize, and for benefits and job security. As the strike takes on a life of its own, so too does the narrative, growing tauter as the province’s loyalties split and a general strike looms. Back then, the fishermen faced opposition from almost every quarter – governments, the media, the church, companies and even the labour-movement establishment.
“Cameron takes readers to the strike’s seminal moments, giving them a real sense of the people on both sides of the conflict, and showing a keen understanding of this pivotal moment in Canadian labour history. This book isn’t just history, though – reading it gives you an understanding of what these events really meant. D’Arcy Martin explores that theme in his essay “The Case of Education in the Labour Movement: Pre-1970,” writing, “struggle is a teacher, working in the head, heart and feet of workers who have decided to stand up for themselves. Thus it is no accident that a gripping account of a fishermen’s strike in Nova Scotia is entitled The Education of Everett Richardson.”
“And yes, through the lens of Atlantic Canadian history, or the labour movement, or the history of the fisheries, this is an important book. Yet few books on those subjects stand as large as The Education of Everett Richardson. That’s because this book’s ultimate strength is in Cameron’s storytelling skills. His writing is taut, tense, and blunt, perfectly reflecting the powder-keg feel of the times. Reading this book is a reminder of how many mediocre books on Atlantic Canadian history there are, and how good a book on this subject can be in the hands of a writer of Cameron’s talent.”