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The Portland Red Guide: Sites & Stories of Our Radical Past
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The Portland Red Guide: Sites & Stories of Our Radical Past

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Paperback, 253 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Ooligan Press
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The Portland Red Guide isn’t a book I would normally pick up. However, I moved to Portland not too long ago and figured I should at least try to learn a little bit about the city’s history. The Portland Red Guide caught my attention because it covers the radical history of Portland. I mean, how often do you see a guide book that delves into what many would consider to be controversial topics? Not to mention, it also includes some handy maps and routes for walking tours so you can go visit the ph ...more
For those interested in learning more about Portland's rich, radical history, whether a Portlander or a visitor, pick up Michael Munk's The Portland Red Guide. Not only does it offer readers a rich, comprehensive examination of historical events that took place in Portland, but it also provides photos and maps to help give the reader a visual. The book is designed so that sites mentioned are colored in red and are marked on maps, making them easy to follow. As an added bonus, there are four deta ...more
History is fascinating, but this look at Portland's "radical" history didn't exactly hold my interest. The constant entries about demonstrations and strikes became a little tedious. That being said, the book is intended as a sort of travel guide to show you the different places in Portland where these radical events took place. The interior is very well designed with good maps and interesting pictures. There were a couple of very blatant typos that any copy editor should have fixed before this w ...more
The Portland Red Guide covers much of Portland’s radical past, particularly that of Socialists, Communists, and working class people who spoke truth to power. It also describes situations in which those in power, whether politicians or police, oppressed people they find threatening. The book is divided into different time periods, from the nineteenth century to the present. It includes Wobblies, doctors who performed abortions, black people harassed by racist cops, Communists and sympathizers at ...more
While The Portland Red Guide functions like a travel guide it reads more like a history book of social dissent. I almost want to call it a “people’s history” of the city of Portland, but comparing it to Zinn’s work is a stretch. What the book does best is provide a timeline for socialist and communist activities in this city, highlighting events and individuals who have been ignored by the conformist and counterrevolutionary historians. The book surprisingly opens up Portland’s history, making i ...more
Munk's history and discussion of Portland was a good starting off point. At times it felt more like a zine that someone I knew wrote, instead of a comprehensive guide to the radical times and history in Portland. The author adds an ending note of 'if I missed something, sorry! There's, like, a lot of history!" but I was still confused why some things were put in and not others. I suppose I also just needed a bigger overall picture of Portland's story before I dug in with the radical retellings o ...more
Is your house down the block from WW-1 resisters' headquarters? Did a worker's strike take over your office building in 1970? Was your neighborhood where all the Wobblies lived? These questions and more are answered by the Portland Red Guide.

The book's dedication reads "To those who worked for a better world rather than their own place in the present one."

What are you doing to get your house on the map for the 2050 edition!?
Sep 29, 2007 Terri rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Portland history buffs, lefties, reds
Wow. I learned an incredible amount of the history of social movements in Portland from this book...union organizing, secret police squads, Black Panther connections, and tons more. The book includes maps of historical buildings and sites, tons of historical photos, and is well researched. I'm looking forward to doing my own 'Portland red walking tour' sometime soon.
Carye Bye
Fantastic reference and jumping off point to learn a lessor known history. It's no easy task to condense information in understandable pieces. I love the map-location portion, the best way to read this book is out and about. I learned a lot and really appreciate this "retirement book" by Michael Munk.
Aug 09, 2007 Kenneth rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: portland history buffs, reds
Shelves: history
interesting subbaculture history bits from Stumptown's edgy political underbelly. I really liked the maps and photos. If one was seriously into our "little Beirut" past, they could take a tour now of all the important sites. Lots of obscure factoids even for you non-rabble rousers.
Where are the Portland suffragists and feminists?
May 03, 2009 Bean rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Portlanders
If you live in Portland, READ IT!!
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