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

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  49 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Paperback, 253 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Ooligan Press
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The Portland Red Guide by Michael Munk60 Hikes Within 60 Miles by Paul GeraldDot-To-Dot, Oregon by Sid MillerThis is Portland by Alexander BarrettZinester's Guide to Portland by Shawn Granton
Travel Portland
1st out of 29 books — 3 voters
A Series of Small Maneuvers by Eliot TreichelForgive Me If I've Told You This Before by Karelia Stetz-WatersBlue Thread by Ruth Tenzer FeldmanUntangling the Knot by Carter SickelsThe Wax Bullet War by Sean  Davis
Ooligan Press List of Books
11th out of 14 books — 7 voters

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Community Reviews

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Trey Stockard
Aug 12, 2015 Trey Stockard rated it really liked it
The Portland Red Guide is “a modest start toward a more respectful public understanding and rehabilitation of a neglected part of Portland’s common heritage.” Ph.D. in Political Science Michael Munk compiles an alternative history to the one commemorated on local street signs, buildings, neighborhood names and park benches exalting the dynasties of fur impresarios, land grabbers, timber barons and industry magnates.
Munk details the Portland area’s radical past, from 19th century “Utopians and M
Cade Hoover
Jun 05, 2015 Cade Hoover rated it really liked it
As a new Portland resident, this book was recommended to me by a friend. In all honesty, I had limited expectations for a historical guide book to the city. Historical texts, in general, have my eyes closing for a little nap pretty abruptly. While The Portland Red Guide can be a little dull in places, it focuses on aspects of the city's history that would most commonly be ignored or overlooked, right away making it a more exciting read. The author's tone of voice is inviting and familiar. I thou ...more
May 18, 2014 Margo rated it really liked it
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
Margaret Henry
Dec 06, 2015 Margaret Henry rated it it was amazing

Michael Munk’s field book, The Portland Red Guide, reminds me of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Both books are chock full of moments when you realize the historical stories you’ve been told don’t include everyone. I frequently read nonfiction and often read historical books, and Munk’s title is right up there with the best of them. Plus, The Portland Red Guide is written as a sort of field guide, so you can travel throughout Portland, walking in the footsteps of the radic
Jun 05, 2014 Kyra rated it really liked it
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
Apr 26, 2014 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 14, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
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
Mar 06, 2011 Brandon rated it really liked it
Shelves: ooligan
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
Feb 04, 2011 Micah rated it really liked it
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 it was amazing
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
Nov 12, 2013 Carye Bye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hidden-portland
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 liked it
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.
Dec 10, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it
Where are the Portland suffragists and feminists?
May 03, 2009 Bean rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Portlanders
If you live in Portland, READ IT!!
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