Rae Murphy, one of the stalwarts of the alternative newsmagazine Last Post in the early '70s, has died in Toronto. A death notice is in today's Globe and Mail.Along with Chodos and Eric Hamovitch, Murphy authored Paul Martin: A political biography (1998), Lost in Cyberspace? Canada and the Information Revolution (1997) and The Unmaking of Canada: The Hidden Theme in Canadian History Since 1945 (1991). With Chodos and Auf der Maur he wrote the 1984 book Brian Mulroney: The Boy From Baie-comeau; in 1988 he, Chodos and Hamovitch wrote Selling Out: Four years of the Mulroney Government. With Patrick Brown and Chodos he co-wrote Winners, Losers: The 1976 Tory Leadership Convention. Chodos and Murphy were editors on a collection of articles from the Last Post, published in 1974 called Let Us Prey, long out of print but still available as a used book.
Murphy, a bred-in-the-bone journalist who in later years was professor of journalism, and later of Canadian studies, at Conestoga College of Applied Arts and Technology in Kitchener in addition to editing and writing for the magazine was co-author of a string of influential biographies and current affairs books, most with an anti-corporatist, anti-establishment, contrarian perspective.
He was part of a loosely-knit group of progressive journalists, many based in Montreal, including Robert Chodos, Peter Allnutt, Drummond Burgess, Mark Starowicz and Nick Auf der Maur and cartoonist Terry Mosher.The editorial team providing an alternative news approach to what was then called "the commercial press", leavened with a large side of satire. The magazine was launched in December 1969 and ceased publication in 1980 and Murphy turned his attention to producing a series of hard-hitting, muckraking books.