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Writer & Historian

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Histories

Trail and the Atomic Bomb – A History

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July 11, 2018
Trail and the Atomic Bomb – A History

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 but they were involved in something of world-shattering importance. Codename Project 9breaks the wartime code of silence that had settled over the city in the early 1940s and reveals...
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Invoking Labour History to Win in West Virginia – A Strike Analysis

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March 14, 2018
Invoking Labour History to Win in West Virginia – A Strike Analysis

“A union movement in America will always be a scandal (because) the subversive thing about labor is not the strike, but the idea of solidarity.” – Tom Geoghegan in Which Side Are You On? The nine-day West Virginia teachers’ strike that ended on March 7, 2018, revealed how workers can and will invoke labour history to...
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American Expansionism Under Polk – A Book Review

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January 30, 2018
American Expansionism Under Polk – A Book Review

American expansionism is an ever-present threat in many parts of the world. Wherever, the United States has chosen to impose its democracy on a country in conflict, those populations suffer horribly. One of the early examples came in the form of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, revisited in Peter Guardino’s The Dead March (Harvard,...
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Balkan Roots – A Travel Essay

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October 24, 2017
Balkan Roots – A Travel Essay

It is pouring a hard, unforgiving Balkan rain that threatens to scupper my plans to visit Lukovdol, a small village in Croatia where I hope to find the ancestral home of my grandfather Francisus Verzuh. We are in the mountainous region of Gorski Kotar, a county near the Slovenian border. Wikipedia dubs it Croatia’s...
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Proletarian Cromwell – A Labour History Essay

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May 17, 2017
Proletarian Cromwell – A Labour History Essay

Canadian labour historians have often cited politically inspired poems to portray first-hand the misery of the workplace, the poverty experienced by working families, the inequality perpetrated by the capitalist system, or to describe the agency of the working class in seeking justice against those who exercise hegemony over them. But few have been inclined...
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Hail a Canadian Labour Hero – A Book Review

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April 5, 2017
Hail a Canadian Labour Hero – A Book Review

Jon Bartlett and Rika Reubsaat, Soviet Princeton: Slim Evans and the 1932-33 Miners’ Strike (Vancouver: New Star Books, 2016), 126 pp., $19 paper. Arthur “Slim” Evans has long been a notable figure in Canadian labour history, most often associated with the famed On-to-Ottawa Trek that he led in 1935 in an effort to improve conditions in the...
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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 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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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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Books

Venice Observed - A Travel Booklet with Photos by Ron Verzuh 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