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Writer & Historian

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Histories

Revisiting the 1950s Red Scare – A Book Review and Interview

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October 18, 2019
Revisiting the 1950s Red Scare – A Book Review and Interview

Raymond Caballero, McCarthyism vs. Clinton Jencks (Norman, OK, University of Oklahoma Press, 2019), 320 pages, $29.95 (paper). Just when books about the history of Communist trade unions seem to have waned, Portland historian Raymond Caballero brings to life the horrors of the Second Red Scare in the 1950s through an account of the trials and tribulations...
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Union Hall Named National Historic Site – A Labour History Update

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July 29, 2019
Union Hall Named National Historic Site – A Labour History Update

Parks Canada officially designated the Rossland Miners’ Union Hall as a national historic site on July 20, 2019. The subject of my 2013 documentary film Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout, the 1898 building has been the meeting place for many historic events in the history of the B.C. labour movement. The Parks Canada web...
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History Backs the Green New Deal – A Response

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May 30, 2019
History Backs the Green New Deal – A Response

Kevin Baker, “Where Our New World Begins: Politics, Power, and the Green New Deal,” Harper’s Magazine, May 2019. Kevin Baker, a journalist and author of award-winning historical novels, supports the Green New Deal. It isn’t blanket support; he sees that changes and compromises will be needed to make it fly. But he argues that...
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Codename Project 9 – A History Booklet

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May 17, 2019
Codename Project 9 – A History Booklet

Reference Verzuh, Ron. Codename Project 9: How a Small British Columbia City Helped Create the Atomic Bomb (KDP Publishing, 2018), 86 pages paper only, $9 (USD) at amazon.com. Synopsis The people of Trail, British Columbia, kept one of the biggest Canadian secrets of the Second World War. Most didn’t know it at the time...
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How I Became a Socialist – A Memoir

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April 29, 2019
How I Became a Socialist – A Memoir

The Green New Deal has already created a stir in Congress and in the minds of many Americans who have been quick to condemn it as a communist plot. After 10 years of living among them, I have learned that fear largely drives the collective consciousness of Americans: fear of skin color, immigrants, and...
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Labour History Can Inspire Workers – An Op-Ed Article

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April 18, 2019
Labour History Can Inspire Workers – An Op-Ed Article

“Marches, rallies, sit-ins – it all matters. It toughens people. It creates solidarity. That why it’s important to know the history of unions, co-op organizers, and civil-rights fighters. When you realize there are a lot of people who came before you, you don’t feel alone. You’re standing on their shoulders even though they’re no...
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The Russians Were Coming – A History Essay

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April 18, 2019
The Russians Were Coming – A History Essay

Members of a Russian sect called the Doukhobors or Spirit Wrestlers twice attempted to found utopian colonies near Eugene, Oregon, once in 1913 and a second time in 1924. What happened to them exposes a well-hidden story of culture clashes involving local landowners, county courts, the Quakers, and the Beaver State’s then flourishing Ku...
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Mesmerized by Hitler – A Book Review

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March 29, 2019
Mesmerized by Hitler – A Book Review

Karl Koerber, Through the Whirlpool: Swept Up in the Nazi Apocalypse, self-published and available through amazon.ca, 240 pages, $15.85 (CDN), paperback with photographs. Seventy-five years have passed since the end of the Second World War and we continue to be fascinated, even preoccupied, by it. Every year, another batch of new films, novels and...
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Codename P9 wins Canada Shorts Award

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March 12, 2019
Codename P9 wins Canada Shorts Award

Codename Project 9, my short documentary film about the role Canada played in making the atomic bomb, has won an Award of Distinction from Canada Shorts, the Canadian and International Short Film Festival. I am pleased and honoured to receive the award from a festival whose mission is to “champion short filmmaking and strive...
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The Raiding of Local 480 – A Labour History

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November 26, 2018
The Raiding of Local 480 – A Labour History

My article, “The Raiding of Local 480: A Historic Cold War Struggle for Union Supremacy in a Small Canadian City,” has been published in Canada’s foremost labour history journal, Labour/Le Travail 82 (Fall 2018): 81-117. Abstract This brief history highlights one of the most hard-fought but little-explored labour wars in North American history, one that...
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Books