No short list of books on this subject can be complete. Popular maritime history is growing rapidly in Canada, and it seems ungenerous to mention only a few of the many fascinating books available. I list here only some of my preferences.
In Britain, Tony Lane uses interviews with seafarers in his book Grey Dawn Breaking: British Merchant Seafarers in the Late Twentieth Century ( Manchester: Manchester University Press 1986). See also Tony Lane, "'Neither Officers Nor Gentlemen,'" History Workshop Journal 19 (Spring 1985):129-43 and Lane The Merchant Seamen's War ( Manchester: Manchester University Press 1990). A good illustrated introduction to the technology is Robin Craig The Ship: Steam Tramps and Cargo Liners ( Greenwich: National Maritime Museum 1980), one of the NMM series on the ship. A superb pictorial account, based on a BBC radio series, is Michael Mason, Basil Greenhill, and Robin Craig, The British Seafarer ( London: Hutcheson/BBC 1980). Ronald Hope edited three collections of reminiscences by seafarers: Twenty Singing Seamen ( London: Stanford Maritime 1979); The Seamen's World ( London: Harrap 1982); and Sea Pie ( London: Fairplay 1984). Valuable insights may be gained from the novels of James Hanley, including Hollow Sea ( London: John Lane 1938) and Between the Tides ( London: John Lane 1939). One can hardly omit mention of Joseph Conrad, especially his Mirror of the Sea ( London: Dent 1923). A collection of scholarly essays is provided by Peter Fricke, ed., Seafarer and Community ( London: Croom Helm 1973); Fricke also wrote The Social Structure of Crews of British Dry Cargo Merchant Ships ( Cardiff. University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology 1974).
From the American side we have J. C. Healey, Foc's'le and Glory Hole: A Study of the Merchant Seaman and His Occupation ( New York: Oxford University Press 1936); and