Michael Munk was born in Prague in 1934 and escaped from the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia to Portland in 1939. He received a PhD in politics from New York University after degrees in political science from the University of Oregon and Reed College. He was drafted into the US Army and sent to South Korea and afterwards was a journalist for the leftist New York weekly National Guardian. He taught political science at Stony Brook University, Roosevelt University in Chicago, and Rutgers University in New Jersey for twenty-five years before retiring to Portland.
Since then, his interests and publications have focused on local radical history. Munk has published widely in the Oregon Historical Quarterly, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, The Portland Alliance and The Oregonian, which listed him among Portland's "local literary luminaries"
The Portland Red Guide, Second Edition
Based on the success of the original 2007 "The Portland Red Guide: Sites and Stories from Our Radical Past," Portland State University's Ooligan Press has published a redesigned and significantly expanded 2011 edition with many more images containing 194 sites (up from 167) related to the city's radicals, their organizations and important events.
New! -- Many additional pictures of 2nd Edition Red Guide sites can now be viewed in the Online Overflow Photo Gallery
Site #56: Portland radicals at Kirk's Donut Shop, formerly 314 W. Burnside in 1934. Painting by the late Pele DeLappe.
Site #35: Where Agnes Fair committed suicide, the former Oregon City electric tracks at SE Tacoma Ave., Sellwood.
What People Say about The Portland Red Guide
On the first edition:
"It's a wonderful book and it's so well organized I can't believe it... delighted that my May Day toast is part of it." -- Gary Snyder
"City Commissioner Nick Fish gave me a copy. Sat down on my sofa and couldn't put it down until I finished. Fascinating!"
-- Tom Potter, Mayor of Portland 2005-2009
"Whoop! Whoop! I'm impressed by how many names from Portland's past have not made it into our official histories and public memorials. Some were good friends of mine. Local history is too often overlooked. Good work, Mike."
-- Bud Clark, Saloon keeper, Goose Hollow Inn, and Mayor of Portland, 1985–1992
"Michael Munk is the Lewis and Clark of Portland's radical past, leading his readers on a voyage of discovery through a long-lost and wonderfully evocative historical terrain. I only wish the Red Guide had been around in the days when I was one of those Portland radicals he writes about with such knowledge (and affection)."
-- Maurice Isserman, author of If I Had a Hammer: the Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left
"Going to these addresses can bring to mind what has gone before and perhaps, encourage more resistance today. I had no idea so much has happened in Portland. And reading the names of people who struggled and whom I worked with brought up lots of memories."
-- Sandra Ford, an activist in Portland's Black Panther Party
Praise for the 2nd edition:
"Rich in new material." -- Gary Snyder
"This revised second edition of The Portland Red Guide provides a treasure trove of information about the Rose City's leftist radicals. Michael Munk's useful volume offers a roadmap to local physical sites-buildings and places-associated with the city's less-celebrated citizens. In pursuit of his lifelong passion, the author has compiled a truly remarkable account of the people and stories beyond Portland's mainstream narratives."
-William G. Robbins, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History at Oregon State University. ]
"The Portland Red Guide is subversive history at its best. In an inspired act of historical jujitsu, it deftly uses the archives of the Portland Police Department's 'Red Squad' to preserve the memory of movements for social democracy that the police squad had sought to suppress. The book's maps of local social movement.allow readers to not just remember what has passed, but to remember the legacies of the places we inhabit and of the lives we lead today."
-Trevor Griffey, Project Coordinator,Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project
"I'm delighted to see the new edition of your Red Guide, since I keep copies on hand for all of my out-of-town guests.
- Jacqueline K. Dirks, Cornelia Marvin Pierce Professor of History and Humanities, Reed College
Munk tries to glean important but overlooked items from the world media on the issues of the day and posts them on an irregular schedule. Although items can overlap, he also maintains separate lists for activists in Portland, Oregon and the Northwest, and special lists for: Labor, Latin America, Israel, Torture Taxis, Korea, and the Czech Republic. Sign up here to try the general list or ask to be added to one or more of the special lists.
"Over the years, I've found your
e-missives most useful. I wouldn't want them to stop."
~ Tom Engelhardt (tomdispatch.com)