Written by Charles Foran.
Published by the Penguin Group (Canada), 2011.
|Born in 1921 into a working-class family, Maurice Richard came of
age as a French Canadian and athlete during an era when the majority population
of Quebec slumbered. A proud, reticent man, Richard aspired only to score goals
and win championships for the Montreal Canadiens. But he represented far more
than a high-scoring forward who filled seats in NHL arenas. Beginning with his
50-goal, 50-game season in 1944-45 and through his battles with the league over
bigotry toward French-Canadian players, Richard's on-ice ferocity and off-ice
dignity echoed the change in Quebec. The March 1955 Richard Riot,
in which fans went on a rampage to protest his suspension, contained the seeds
of transformation. By the time Richard retired in 1960, Quebec had begun to
reinvent itself as a modern, secular society.
Author Charles Foran argues that the province's passionate identification with Richard's success and struggles emboldened its people and changed Canada irrevocably.
Charles Foran has published several books including Mordecai: The Life and Times and The Last House of Ulster. He is the great-grandson of an early Stanley Cup trustee and, on his mother's side, a descendant of generations of diehard Montreal Canadiens supporters.
Also available from the Extraordinary Canadians series:
Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont
Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin
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This page last modified: May 3, 2011
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