Michael Munk

Michael Munk retired after teaching political science for more than twenty-five years, most recently at Rutgers University. He is author of The Portland Red Guide: Sites & Stories of Our Radical Past (Ooligan Press, 2007; second edition, 2011). Munk passed away at the age of eighty-seven in July 2021.

Author's Entries

  • Coxey's Army

    One of the periodic economic collapses endemic in America’s economic history was set off by the Panic of 1893. The depression caused widespread suffering among both farming families, whose income fell sharply, and the growing industrial working class. The number of unemployed reached over four million. A unique response to …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • John "Jack" Reed (1887-1920)

    Almost ninety years after his burial on Red Square in Moscow, John Silas “Jack” Reed remains among the most controversial of Oregon’s native sons. During his brief life, he earned his celebrity by reporting on U.S. labor strikes, the Mexican revolution, World War I, and by being a founder of …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Louise Bryant (1885-1936)

    Louise Mohan Bryant’s eight years in Oregon decided the direction of her life. Born on December 5, 1885, she arrived in the state in 1907 to study at the University of Oregon and left abruptly on the last day of 1915 soon after meeting radical political activist John Reed. …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • McCarthy Era (late 1940s-late 1950s)

    As Woody Guthrie observed at the dawn of the McCarthy Era in 1947, "Portland is OK except for being 50 years behind Seattle in radical temper." While Oregon did its part to suppress the Left, there may have been fewer radicals in the state to suppress. That, of course, …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Pete Seeger in Oregon

    Between 1941 and 1995, folksinger and composer Pete Seeger made as many as seventeen visits to Oregon. His sponsors, venues, and themes reflect the changing political and cultural conditions that both launched his career and limited it for many years until he emerged as a national cultural hero at President …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Socialism in Oregon

    When Postmaster General James Farley jokingly toasted the " Soviet of Washington" in 1936, he included Oregon among the remaining "47 states" for good reason: the influence of socialism on Oregon politics was marginal. But in the State of Washington, Farley ranted, the Democratic Party had adopted a platform that …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Socialist Party of Oregon

    The Socialist Party of Oregon was founded in 1901, at the same time as the Socialist Party of America. The national party was the result of a merger of the Social Democratic Party (1897) with a wing of the Socialist Labor Party (1876). It also drew locally from several utopian …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • West coast waterfront strike of 1934

    "The most devastating work stoppage in Oregon's history" lasted 82 days, paralyzed commerce, and laid off 50,000 Oregonians. It also established one of the nation's strongest unions on the West Coast. In 2008, ninety-five-year old retired longshoreman Marvin Ricks was the last surviving Portland veteran of the great West Coast …

    Oregon Encyclopedia