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Writer & Historian

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Sandon – A Podcast About a BC Ghost Town

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December 17, 2016
Sandon – A Podcast About a BC Ghost Town

There isn’t much to see when you visit the former mining metropolis of Sandon, BC, just east of New Denver in the Slocan Valley. But you can almost smell the labour history as you stroll through what’s left of BC’s version of Deadwood, the US mining town that was so authentically depicted on TV...
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The Mass Psychology of Trumpism – A Political Viewpoint

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November 11, 2016
The Mass Psychology of Trumpism – A Political Viewpoint

“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” – H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920 Following billionaire businessman Donald Trump’s unpredicted victory over Hillary Clinton on November 8, a pall...
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How a Great Shakespeare Festival Helped Destroy a Unique Bookstore

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November 4, 2016
How a Great Shakespeare Festival Helped Destroy a Unique Bookstore

For several years, I have been visiting a little bookstore in Ashland, Oregon, home of the excellent Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Alas, that will longer be possible. The bookstore, Shakespeare Books and Antiques, is or rather was a labour of love for owner Judy Honoré, a septuagenarian bookworm, who has delighted in offering the public...
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Measure 97 in Oregon

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October 22, 2016
Measure 97 in Oregon

I am a Canadian living in Oregon who is constantly shocked to watch Americans shoot themselves in the foot (and the head) when it comes to demanding that corporations pay taxes. Yes, pay some taxes to help the community. I have been even more astonished to watch ordinary working Americans support Donald J. Trump...
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Bernie, where are you?

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October 22, 2016
Bernie, where are you?

The absence of the mildly social-democratic voice of Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential hopeful until last July, has been discouraging to all those of us who were inspired by the possibility of a progressive-minded president. Indeed, anyone who followed media commentary about the rise and decline of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will not be...
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The Reddest Rose – A Partial Biography

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September 27, 2016
The Reddest Rose – A Partial Biography

Harvey Murphy is not a name that echoes loudly throughout the annals of 20th-century British Columbia labour history. In fact, the tireless trade union organizer, negotiator, and active Communist Party of Canada (CPC) bureaucrat has almost disappeared from most histories of the Canadian labour movement. A brief study at the very active life of the...
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Trail BC’s Fighting Ladies’ Auxiliary – A Podcast

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August 12, 2016
Trail BC’s Fighting Ladies’ Auxiliary – A Podcast

  In June 1944, about thirty women in Trail, BC, were chartered as Ladies Auxiliary Local 131. By 1946 there were 25 such auxiliaries across Canada. Back then, Steel Local 480 was a Mine-Mill union fighting for certification against a company union set up decades earlier by Cominco president S.G. Blaylock. Local 480 was...
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Leola’s photos capture dreams – A public exhibition

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May 2, 2016
Leola’s photos capture dreams – A public exhibition

The 48 images in “Windows, Passages and Reflections,” the photo exhibit now on display at the Eugene Public Library, share the sensitivity, perception, and artistic creativity of Leola Jewett-Verzuh. Some are so stunningly beautiful as to capture one’s dreams. These are not just windows on reality in various parts of the world. They also...
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Labour rebels shaped BC history – A book review

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April 21, 2016
Labour rebels shaped BC history – A book review

Mark Leier, Rebel Life: The Life and Times of Robert Gosden, revised edition (Vancouver: New Star, 2013), 183 pages, soft cover, $21; Laura Ellyn, Ginger Goodwin: A Worker’s Friend (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2016), 114 pages, soft cover, $23.95 It’s a minor miracle that labour historian Mark Leier’s revision of his original 1999 book...
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Remembering Salt – A research note

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March 20, 2016
Remembering Salt – A research note

Cold War historians have uncovered much evidence to illustrate how the political intolerance of the early 1950s manifested itself in some Canadian cities. However, little has been revealed regarding McCarthyism’s impact on the country’s non-urban communities nor has there been significant exploration of the Cold War resistance that was mobilized in small Canadian towns....
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Books

Radical Rag by Ron Verzuh Underground Times by Ron Verzuh Selling Labour Down Under by Ron Verzuh Changing Images by Ron Verzuh Feasting With Love by Ron Verzuh Tea Leaves by Ron Verzuh Remembering Salt by Ron Verzuh