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The Red Coast

Radicalism and Anti-Radicalism in Southwest Washingon

Aaron Goings, Brian Barnes and Roger Snider

6 × 9. 30 B&W photos. Index. 256 pages.

2019. ISBN 978-0-87071-967-7. Paperback, $24.95.


Available June 2019

The Red Coast is a lively and readable informal history of the labor, left-wing, and progressive activists who lived, worked, and organized in southwest Washington State from the late nineteenth century until World War II. The book serves as a hidden history for a region frequently identified with conservatism, rescuing these working-class activists from obscurity and placing them at the center of southwest Washington’s history.

With a focus on socialists, militant unionists, Wobblies, "Red" Finns, and Communists, The Red Coast covers the people, places, and events that made history—well-known events like the 1919 Armistice Day Tragedy in Centralia and the murders of labor activists William McKay and Laura Law in Aberdeen as well as lesser-known events that have been lost to posterity until now.

The Red Coast also delves deep into the lives and work of the region’s anti-radical forces, examining the collective efforts of employers, news editors, and vigilantes to combat working-class organization. Topics include the Wobblies, the labor wars of the 1910s and 1930s, and the lumber and maritime industries. Labor historians, scholars, and general readers with interest in the working-class history of the Pacific Northwest will welcome this comprehensive and accessible account.

Member of AAUP