Hard Times in Paradise: Coos Bay, Oregon

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Blessed with vast expanses of virgin timber, a good harbor, and a San Francisco market for its lumber, the Coos Bay area once dubbed itself "a poor man's paradise." A new Prologue and Epilogue by the author bring this story of gyppo loggers, longshoremen, millwrights, and whistle punks into the twenty-first century, describing Coos Bay’s transition from timber town to a retirement and tourist community, where the site of a former Weyerhaeuser complex is now home to the Coquille Indian Tribe’s The Mill Casino.

University of Washington Press

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What People Are Saying

Chris Friday
With the original edition of Hard Times in Paradise, Robbins tackled immense problems in a small packet. The new additions not only update the story of Coos Bay's struggle to survive, but also bring new scholarly perspectives that extend the discussion beyond the first brilliant portrayal of this vital facet of Northwest history.
Richard S. Kirkendall
Relying heavily on interviews with residents of the Oregon coast, Robbins... examines the rise and decline of labor unions and writes of mills— as well as of woods and of small firms (the "gyppos) and the giants such as Weyerhaeuser and Georgia-Pacific.
Allan Kent Powell
Historians will find this study useful in its survey of the southern Oregon timber industry, in its indictment of the unwise exploitation of resources in the West, and... as a model for a study that can be read and appreciated by those who matter most— the people who are the history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295985480
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 236
  • Sales rank: 869,871
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

William G. Robbins is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History at Oregon State University. He is the author of Landscapes of Promise: The Oregon Story, 1800-1940 and Landscapes of Conflict: The Oregon Story, 1940-2000, among other books.

University of Washington Press

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Table of Contents

Map 1 Coos County, Oregon Map 2 Coos Bay area

Prologue to the Revised EditionPreface to the Original EditionIntroduction1) Poor Man's Paradise2) An Empire Itself3) The "Big Mill" and Its World4) Logging the Coos Timber5) Getting By6) Surviving the Great Depression7) The Second World War8) Lumber Capital of the World9) Timber Fever10) Bosses and Workers11) Hard Times and SurvivorsPost Mortem: Reflections on the Present ConditionEpilogue to the Revised EditionNotesIndex

University of Washington Press

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