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The Portland Red Guide: Sites and Stories From Our Radical Pastby Michael Munk
Synopses & Reviews
A historical guidebook of social dissent in Portland, Oregon, Michael Munk's The Portland Red Guide links notable radicals, their organizations, and their activities to physical sites in the city.
With the aide of maps and numerous photos, Munk tells the stories history books exclude, stories of working class people and organizations who fought against repression and injustice. The book is a testament to Portland’s rich history of individuals who insisted on a better justification for their lives than the quest for material wealth; instead, they dedicated themselves to offering alternative visions of how to organize our economy and society.
Both a guidebook and an informal history, The Portland Red Guide will expand readers' perspectives of their city and their past. The book is divided by physical or topical entries and loosely grouped into the following chronological periods:
"A roller-coaster ride through Portland's radical past. Who knew that being on the losing side of just about everything could be so much fun?" Phil Stanford, Portland Tribune columnist, author of Portland Confidential
"Michael Munk is the Lewis and Clark of Portland's radical past, leading his readers on a voyage of discovery through a long-lost and wonderfully evocative historical terrain. I only wish the Red Guide had been around in the days when I was one of those Portland radicals he writes about with such knowledge (and affection)." Maurice Isserman, author of If I Had a Hammer: the Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left, and former staffer at The Willamette Bridge and The Portland Scribe
"Whoop! Whoop! I'm impressed by how many names from Portland's past have not made it into our official histories and public memorials. Some were good friends of mine. Local history is too often overlooked. Good work, Mike." Bud Clark, Saloon keeper, Goose Hollow Inn, and Mayor of Portland, 1985–1992
"Michael Munk did a terrific job of researching local leftist and labor struggles usually ignored by conventional historians and the commercial media." Gene Klare, columnist, Northwest Labor Press. Former reporter, pre-strike The Oregonian and the Portland Reporter
"What fun to learn all the ordinary places have a not-so ordinary history. Some will call The Portland Red Guide subversive, others will welcome it as the sweet breeze of revelation, but all will have to admit it adds a fascinating new layer to appreciating Portland. Even those Portlanders who think they know their city's past will likely find themselves shocked at the wealth of radical Portland history related in this volume. One hopes it becomes as ubiquitous as cell phones in Portland pedestrians' hands." Sandy Polishuk, author of Sticking to the Union: An Oral History of the Life and Times of Julia Ruuttila
"Going to these addresses can bring to mind what has gone before and perhaps, encourage more resistance today. I had no idea so much has happened in Portland. And reading the names of people who struggled and whom I worked with brought up lots of memories." Sandra Ford, former wife of Black Panther Party leader Kent Ford
Book News Annotation:
From free speech protests by the Industrial Workers of the World to protests of the George H. W. Bush administration that prompted the nickname of "Little Beirut," Portland, Oregon, has long been a site of radical organizing and protest. Munk, a retired political science professor with biographical ties to Portland's radical past and present, here offers a tour guide of Portland's radical history, presenting city maps that mark the places and buildings that witnessed the activities of Wobblies, socialists, unionists, anti-war protestors, and civil rights organizers from the 19th century to the present and offering brief descriptions of the importance of each. Distributed in the US by Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Michael Munk was born in Prague in 1934 and escaped the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, fleeing with his family to Portland in 1939. He majored in political science at both Reed College and the University of Oregon and received a PhD in politics from New York University in 1974. He taught political science at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Roosevelt University in Chicago, and Rutgers University in New Jersey for twenty-five years before retiring to Portland.
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History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » General