Can there be a greater challenge for us to ponder than Moses Coady's exhortation to his fellow Nova Scotians: "Shape your own destiny!"? Then, in the 1930s, as now, many people believed that the problems and injustices of life resulted from forces beyond their control. Moses Coady could not have disagreed more. With missionary zeal he implored people to change themselves and their society. Liberation, he insisted, could be achieved through adult education. Do we today have the confidence to make such a claim?
The Antigonish Movement is a symbol of an activist heritage in adult education. In this book, Anne Alexander examines the background of this important movement, its activities, and the individuals involved, in order to show its continuing relevance to practitioners of adult education today. "It is time that we had another full-length study of the Antigonish Movement, Moses Coady, his work and his ideas. This one is the best of them all. Alexander is successful in placing Coady and his idea in the intellectual setting of his day." — Gordon Selman, Professor of Adult Education, University of British Columbia.
"Alexander presents a thorough understanding of the values and methods that distinguished Moses Coady's efforts in the 1930s and 1940s for social change in Nova Scotia and beyond through adult education. She also launches a serious critique of today's adult educators who no longer form a social reform movement. It is a particularly timely work when the free market system and big governments still fail to deal with what was Coady's main concern, the growing gap between rich and poor." — Bernard M. Daly, Publisher-Emeritus, The Catholic Register.
"This is a lucidly written study of Moses Coady and his ideas. It clearly positions the Antigonish movement in its historical and religious context. It is by far the best introduction available to this important phenomenon. Whether or not one agrees with its premise that adult education professionals should be social activists and here the Coady model is persuasive — it offers a fresh interpretation, a lively read and makes a major contribution to the history of the Maritimes in the period." — Ernest R. Forbes, Professor of History, University of New Brunswick.