Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle Reading App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
My name is Edward Brewster and I am one of the 25 survivors (not24 as Mr. Cox states on page 210) of the sinking of the SS Cedarville on May 7th, 1965. I had looked forward to reading this book but I was extremely disappointed when I did. I found many parts untrue. The ship was seaworthy; it was not rat infested; to my knowledge, it was never overloaded (in fact, I personally checked the draft the morning of May 7th when we finished loading; we did not have to adjust the cargo in order to close the hatches. When loading the ship, we never had to go into the slip bow first and then turn around and back in to finish loading. Mr. Cox had me attempting to get into the port lifeboat - in fact, I was in the starboard lifeboat, which ended up under the ship. In the book, Mr. Cox says that I was a Deckwatchman, I was a Watchman and relief wheelsman. He said that I was a patient in the hospital, with my wife sitting on my bed, I was treated in the Emergency Room and released. The Preface states "Conversations and actions of the surviving crewmen and their families are taken directly from the exhaustive personal accounts reflected in their depositions, correspondence, personal notes, hearing transcripts, diaries, logbooks, and press accounts". I know of only one survivor that he spoke with. I know that the conversations of my wife and grandmother did not take place. In fact, my grandmother's true experience would have been much more interesting. The book was written as if it was based on documented facts. Actually, so much of it is fiction and is written in such a way that the reader is led to believe that everything in the book is accurate. I know for sure what happened. I was there and I worked on this ship for five years. I can remember everything that happened that day as if it were taking place today.
Prior to reading Mr. Cox's well-researched and carefully-documented account of the tragic events of May 7, 1965, I had never heard of the Cedarville, nor was I aware of any of the particulars of the steel industry during the mid-20th century. I found Mr. Cox's account of the events leading up to the collision and sinking of the ship riveting, particularly in regard to the actions and inactions of the ship's owner, U.S. Steel. Having read the book myself, I find it difficult to understand the petty nature of the criticisms it has received from people whose lives were critically impacted by the tragedy. The events described in this book occurred almost 40 years ago, meaning that details surrounding the collision have naturally been forgotten even by those who experienced the event. Mr. Cox's account is in fact based on the most reliable of all possible sources of information--i.e., the court record of the trial that occurred immediately after the collision, which contains the verbatim testimony of all the witnesses. Mr. Cox's decision to base his book primarily on the court record containing the exact statements of those eyewitnesses, given at a time when their memories would have been very fresh (and certainly much fresher than they would have been 40 years later when Mr. Cox researched the book), rather than basing it on interviews with each and every surviving witness, in fact demonstrates his commitment to truth. Further, Mr. Cox explains very clearly that some of the conversations and encounters in the book are fictionalized, added for the sole purpose of creating interest, helping the reader understand the viewpoint of the principals, and moving the story forward. Ultimately, Mr.Read more ›
The Cedarville Conspiracy is a phenomonal story that should have been told long ago. The dialogue which I thought brought the story to life proved to be an effective way to keep the reader's interest. While I was reading the Cedarville Conspiracy, I found that it was impossible to put the book down. Mr. Cox's highly exciting writing style is most interesting in that he was able to keep a timeline going with all the parties--the workers and their families, the ships and Bradley Fleet headquarters. I felt empathy for the people of Rogers City. The book portrayed their strength and bravery in handling this horrible situation that could have been avoided had it not been for the corporate greed of U.S. Steel. I look forward to reading further writings by Mr. Cox.
Was this review helpful to you?