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Writer & Historian

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Blaylock’s Bomb – A History Essay

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July 23, 2015
Blaylock’s Bomb – A History Essay

“Blaylock’s Bomb – How a Small BC City Helped Create the World’s First Weapon of Mass Destruction” is now available in BC Studies No. 186 (summer 2015). Four years into the Second World War, the citizens of Trail, British Columbia, a small city with a large smelter in the moun­tainous West Kootenay region near...
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Joe Hill Wins Again – A Film Update

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July 14, 2015
Joe Hill Wins Again – A Film Update

My short documentary Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout, released in 2014, won second prize at the Seattle MayWorks video contest this spring. “We appreciate your contribution to the advancement of worker culture,” said the Washington State Labor council in announcing the prize. In August, Joe Hill will be shown at the Oregon AFL-CIO summer...
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Buddy DeVito’s Celebration of Life

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May 31, 2015
Buddy DeVito’s Celebration of Life

On Sunday, May 24, 2015, we celebrated the life of Francesco Edward “Buddy” DeVito, a long-time family friend and later a personal friend of mine. Buddy had died about six months earlier on October 29, 2014, at age 94, but his widow Maureen Mitchell wanted to wait a while before spreading his ashes in...
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New film on B.C. labor martyr Ginger Goodwin

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May 11, 2015
New film on B.C. labor martyr Ginger Goodwin

A new documentary film takes us back to the early 1900s in the coal mining regions of Vancouver Is. where labor martyr Ginger Goodwin spent his last days before being shot and killed by a special police constable. Goodwin’s Way revisits that labor history through a modern-day lens focused on the struggle to keep...
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Labour History Moments – Taylorism Rebounds

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May 7, 2015
Labour History Moments – Taylorism Rebounds

If you work at a Safeway, a Starbucks, a courier service, or even as a freelance worker at a home computer your every move may be tracked to make sure your employer is maximizing his profits and minimizing your take-home pay. It’s all done with something called a workplace management system. A computer tracks...
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Labour History Moments – Remembering Salt

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May 7, 2015
Labour History Moments – Remembering Salt

Sixty years ago in December 1954, a movie called Salt of the Earth found its way into Canada, thanks to the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (now Steel). The film was blacklisted across the United States as the Cold War unleashed a widespread paranoia that became known as McCarthyism. But fear of...
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Labour History Moments –Violence on the Line

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April 8, 2015
Labour History Moments –Violence on the Line

Labour history is filled with accounts of murders, massacres and other attacks on workers and their unions over the years. In the United States, labor historians have long cited the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado, the Everett and Centralia Massacres in Washington State, and the lesser-known Italian Hall Tragedy in Michigan among many others. In...
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Canada’s Vietnam Vets – A Feature Article

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April 8, 2015
Canada’s Vietnam Vets – A Feature Article

“Allan M. was a quiet kid; a sissy, according to some of his school mates. He had few friends, wasn’t good at sports, least of all the potentially violent ones like football or hockey. He was a loner, not in the habit of opening up. As the yearbook put it: ‘This tall fair lad...
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A Cold Spring in Paris – Travel Essays

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March 29, 2015

Sometime in the early 2000, my daughter Alex and I travelled to Paris from Neuchatel, Switzerland, where she was studying to complete her high school diploma. I had been to Paris three or four times before, but she had not visited. For three days we roamed the great city, seeing the grand sites, searching...
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Hollywood Turncoat – A Memoir

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March 28, 2015
Hollywood Turncoat – A Memoir

Edward Dmytryk, the 1940s Hollywood movie director, was both famous and infamous in his time but few people may know that he has a Boundary region connection. The one-time Hollywood Ten member was born into a poor Ukrainian Catholic family in Grand Forks, B.C., on 4 September 1908. Not only did this vital statistic...
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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