The Education of Everett Richardson: Back in print after 40 years!
ONE OF ATLANTIC CANADA’S 100 GREATEST BOOKS!
THE EDUCATION OF EVERETT RICHARDSON
The Story of the Nova Scotia Fishermen’s Strike 1970-71
[Buy it here: https://tinyurl.com/yxoezh75]
“If I was twenty years younger,” shouted the woman, “I’d smash right through that picket line: I would!”
“If you was twenty years younger,” snapped a union wife, “you’d fuck your way through it like you did with the crew of that fourteen-dory Yankee longliner that was in here them days.”
As Father Ron Parsons listened with amusement, a woman behind him in the picket line turned to her companion.
“Isn’t that terrible?” she whispered. “You’d think with the priest here she’d at least have had the decency to say ‘screw’.”
Telling the story, Parsons rocks with laughter….
First published in 1977, The Education of Everett Richardson is labour history like you’ve never read it before – profane, poignant, personal. Silver Donald Cameron takes the reader inside the kitchens, the bait sheds, the courtrooms and the corporate offices to share the human story of an epic struggle in three tiny fishing ports in eastern Nova Scotia. Savagely exploited by the fishing industry, earning as little as $2.01 for ten days of fishing in the mid-winter North Atlantic, the fishermen simply wanted a union. To get one, they had to fight not only the companies, but also the government, the courts, the media, the business establishment, the mainstream labour movement and – mostly – the churches.
Powerful, vivid characters drive the story. The charismatic Communist union leader, Homer Stevens. The choleric, competitive company president, Donnie Cadegan. And a genial, stubborn fisherman named Everett Richardson, sentenced to nine months in jail for defiantly walking a picket line.
But when the courts forced the fishermen to stop picketing, their wives and daughters took over. (“The strike was Women’s Lib around here,” said Everett’s wife, Jean.) By the time the new picketers were done, people even knew the design of a company man’s boxer shorts: blue, with yellow butterflies.
Readers say this true story reads like a novel, and it’s been named one of Atlantic Canada’s 100 greatest books. In this second edition of The Education of Everett Richardson, a new introduction by the author reflects on the disappearance of the fishery and the rise of the environmental movement as corporate Canada’s favourite bogeyman. The struggle changes — but the fishermen’s example remains an inspiration, a resonant tale about justice, courage and change.
The great folk musician Stan Rogers, whose family came from Canso Strait, called The Education of Everett Richardson “a classic.” Other readers have called it “gripping, entertaining, compelling.” Atlantic Canada’s 100 Greatest Books praised its author’s storytelling skills, and its “taut, tense and blunt” prose. (You can read that full review here.) An important story? Yes – but also a damn good read.
You can buy The Education of Everett Richardson on Amazon and in bookstores – or buy it from my online store, here. If you want, I’ll autograph it, too. Enjoy!