Book Review of
Portland on the Take
In an era when Portland’s shipyards thrived, so, too, did corruption. The Red Scare that followed the 1934 Waterfront Strike allowed gangsters to gain control of some of the city’s unions. Working in cahoots with high-ranking city officials, criminals like Al Winter and James Elkins gained power and influence, often using goon squads” of union men and hired criminals to enforce their will. Now authors JD Chandler and JB Fisher bring Portland’s days of civic corruption and hidden murders out of the shadows. With unprecedented access to the police investigative files of the Frank Tatum murder of 1947 and the detective notebooks and tape recorder transcripts of Multnomah County sheriff’s detective Walter Graven, the authors shed new light on Portland’s turbulent mid-twentieth-century past.”
Because I have relatives who live on the West Coast, I have been to Portland multiple times. I know people love Portland. I love history, however, so when I saw this book while shopping with a family member at Costco, I picked it up. It is a fascinating read. It was a bit dry, but it shows that Portland has always been weird. If you love interesting and unusual historical facts Portland On the Take is one you might enjoy.