University of Washington Press (2006), 392 pages
Arguing the common theme that links the Russian and American eras of Alaskan history is colonialism.
LibraryThing member RGazala
The title of Stephen Haycox' book is slightly misleading, as the first half of the work details imperial Russia's "discovery," exploration and exploitation of Alaska before selling the massive territory to America in 1867 for $7.2 million (about two cents an acre). The book is a brief and interesting primer on Alaskan history from the middle of the 18th century to the dawn of the 21st. Haycox concentrates on sociocultural conflicts between natives and incomers; interminable discord between environmentalists and industrialists; and since statehood in 1959, strife between competing native, state, and federal sovereignty claims over land and resources. Particularly in the first half of the book, Haycox occasionally obsesses with minutia better left to a lengthier examination. Nonetheless, this is a good and well-written introduction to Alaskan history, including an ample bibliography for readers interested in learning more about America's "Last Frontier."
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