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Writer & Historian

Contact me at ron@ronverzuh.ca

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Old Batavia still intrigues

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January 28, 2011
Old Batavia still intrigues

Rohindra parked the tourist bus near the town hall of Old Batavia, the Dutch colonial capital of Jakarta. I was the lone tourist on the bus, a sign of the bad economic times that have led Indonesia into growing political turmoil.
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San Francisco night

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January 28, 2011
San Francisco night

John’s Grill. It doesn’t sound “historic”. Doesn’t even sound interesting. Of all the gin joints and chop shops in San Francisco, why pick this one for a late-night martini? Because this is where writer Dashiell Hammett hung out back in the 1920s. That’s right. Dash himself had lunch here regularly. Yes, the same Dash...
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Berlin’s graffiti heaven

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January 27, 2011

A stand-up comic by night and city tour guide by day, Summer Banks will lead us on no ordinary romp through Berlin. This transplanted Californian is here to teach curious and slightly adventuresome tourists about the finer points of graffiti art and alternative living in the squats of the trendy and in some ways...
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Angela Davis still fighting

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January 26, 2011
Angela Davis still fighting

Angela Davis, one of only three women in history to be on the FBI’s most wanted list, is still a firebrand for her causes albeit a more subdued version of the 1960s radical Marxist sometimes dubbed the last great black activist.
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Changing Images

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January 24, 2011
Changing Images

This report is based on a three-month study of trade union communications in the United Kingdom conducted from May to July 1990. Funding was provided by the Commonwealth Relations Trust, a London-based organization that sponsors a bursary each year for one Canadian trade unionist to study in the United Kingdom.
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Selling Labour Down Under

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January 23, 2011
Selling Labour Down Under

Reference Verzuh, Ron. Selling Labour Down Under: Australian union communications in a time of peril  (Toronto: Canadian Association of Labour Media, 1996). Synopsis On March 2, 1996, the Australian Labor Party lost the federal election.  After 13 years, it relinquished power to a coalition of right-wing parties led by Thatcherite John Howard. The upset was not entirely...
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Made in Dagenham

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January 22, 2011
Made in Dagenham

Sally Hawkins will be hailed as the British Norma Rae for her stunning portrayal of an unlikely strike leader in Made in Dagenham, the true story of a 1968 strike for equal pay for women. And she deserves every bit of the applause as does the film, although some might argue that it is...
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Barney’s Version

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January 19, 2011
Barney’s Version

The late Montreal writer Mordecai Richler gave us many characters that reveal both the comedy and the tragedy of human relationships, but Barney Padovsky is perhaps the novelist’s crowning achievement in that regard with this masterful creation of a schmuck of schmucks.
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Stolen livelihoods

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January 11, 2011
Stolen livelihoods

The shameful story of how Japanese fishing families were treated on the North American West Coast is well-known among historians, but Spirit of the Nikkei Fleet brings that story to life through oral history accounts from the very people who experienced that systematic racism.
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Dickens would have loved Slumdog

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January 10, 2011
Dickens would have loved Slumdog

When television wasn’t much older than I was, I remember watching a show every week called The Millionaire. A middle-aged man in a suit would knock on a stranger’s door and give them a cheque for $1 million. Then the audience would watch as the money changed the life of the recipient for better...
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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