A historical guidebook of social dissent, Michael Munk's The Portland Red Guide describes local radicals, their organizations, and their activities in relation to physical sites in the Rose City. With the aid of maps and historical photos, Munk's stories are those that history books often exclude. The historical listings expand readers' perspectives of the unique city and its radical past. The Portland Red Guide is a testament to Portland's rich history of working-class people and organizations that stood against repression and injustice. It honors those who insisted on pursuing a better justification for their lives rather than the quest for material wealth, and who dedicated themselves to offering alternative visions of how to organize society.
The Portland Red Guide uses maps to give readers a walking tour of the city as well as to illustrate sites such as the house where Woody Guthrie wrote his Columbia River songs; the office of the Red Squad (the only memorial to John Reed); the home of early feminist Dr. Marie Equi; and the downtown site of Portland's first Afro-American League protest in 1898. This new edition includes up-to-date information about Portland's most contemporary radicals and suggests routes to help readers walk in the shadows of dissidents, radicals, and revolutionaries. These stories challenge mainstream culture and testify that many in Portland were, and still are, motivated to improve the condition of the world rather than their personal status in it.