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A suggested reading list to learn more about Alaska


A word about Interlibrary Loans.....

For those of you haven't tried "Interlibrary Loan" - it is the greatest thing since ice cream! If you want to read a book that you can't get locally talk to your librarian. Most US libraries participate in the program. Write down the book title, author, and any other details you may have such as publisher. Give it to your librarian and she will order the book in for you. My library charges me between $2-$5 to get any book that circulates in the country. The process usually takes several weeks. The library calls you when it comes in. Usually you can take the book home for several weeks. Some libraries require you read the book on the premises. It depends on the policy of the lending library and the value of the book. Some books are so scarce that they don't circulate.

If you can't obtain your book through interlibrary loan - there is still hope. Make a trip to the Library of Congress in Washington DC some day. They have a copy of almost every book ever published in the U.S. Everyone needs to visit this wonderful repository at least once in their life! And don't forget Ebay - always a good source for obscure books, as is One final place to look - check out the local historical societies - they usually have books and transcriptions available for sale because sale of their transcriptions is one of their major sources of funding.



by James Michener. Master storyteller James Michener reveals Alaska in all its awesome, sweeping majesty. From the near-forgotten past, to the highly technological present, from self-defense to self-determination, here are the men and women who tried to tame the land, seize its bounty, and lay claim to the elusive spirit that holds native and visitor spellbound. A stirring portrait of a human community living on the edge of the world, ALASKA claims a bold heritage of survival against all odds. "Michener has done a fine job....Few will escape the allure of the land and people he describes." LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVEIW

Alaska 1899 : Essays from the Harriman Expedition by George Bird Grinnell, Polly Burroughs, Victoria Wyatt, Burroughs Polly (Introduction) , In the summer of 1899, business tycoon Edward H. Harriman organized and financed a scientific expedition in which 25 of America's foremost geologists, botanists, ornithologists, and ethnologists took a two-month steamship cruise along the coast of Alaska. One of the scientists was Grinnell, an expert on Native American cultures. His two essays, prepared for the final Harriman Expedition report (published in 11 volumes from 1901 to 1905) are reprinted here. They discuss Natives of the Alaska coast, and the salmon industry. With introductions by Grinnell's great-niece and by Victoria Wyatt (history, U. of Victoria), and beautiful b&w illustrations. No index. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Alaska and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, 1867-1915 by Truman R. Strobridge, Dennis L. Noble , Not long after Alaska was purchased by the United States from Russia in 1867, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (USRCS) made its first appearance in the Bering Sea. Over the next forty-eight years the ships and men of the USRCS firmly established U.S. sovereignty in the area and performed amazing acts of rescue and humanitarian aid-contributions that have received little attention until the publication of this book
Alaska Place Names by Alan Edward Schorr , An alphabetical listing of the names of natural features in Alaska, as defined by the federal agency for place names up to December 1990. A paragraph cites the location and the origin of each name. Does not include towns or settlements. The "index" is a cross-reference of alternative names. Third edition, 1986. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Alaska's Copper River Delta by Riki Ott, Paul R. Ehrlich , Here 22 artists from 11 countries present their visions of the vast delta, largest in Pacific North America, together with the mountains, glaciers, rain forests, and wildlife of this largely unspoiled remote area. Published by U. of Washington Press in association with Artists for Nature Foundation, The Netherlands. 10x8<"> Book News, Inc., Portland, OR Alaska's Copper River Delta visits the largest wetland on the Pacific coast of North America - with its associated rain forest, barrier islands, mountains, and glaciers, and its wildlife and human inhabitants - and reveals the Delta through the work of 22 artists from 11 countries. Invited by local residents and the Netherlands-based Artists for Nature Foundation, artists came to the Delta to see spawning runs of Copper River salmon and the world's greatest shorebird migration. They stayed in..
Alaska's History by Harry Ritter , This book is perfect for a quick overview of Alaska's history. It is a good size for tucking in the suitcase or reading on a plane. Lots of historic photos bring this history to life. This brief history captures the untamed history of Alaska in a very readable format.
An Alaska Anthology : Interpreting the Past by Stephen W. Haycox (Editor), Mary Childers Mangusso (Editor) , Twenty-five selected articles trace Alaska's history from the days of Russian-American Company domination to the more recent threat of nuclear testing by the Atomic Energy Commission and the influence of oil money on inexperienced politicians. About half of the articles were included in an earlier anthology, Interpreting Alaska's History (1989), and all have appeared in print elsewhere. No index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
  Anchorage and the Cook Inlet Basin Alaska Geographic Volume 10, Number 2, 1983

Anchorage, All American City a history written by Alaska author Evangeline Atwood. Published by Binfords & Mort of Portland, OR in 1957. "This is the story of the first 40 years (1914-1954) of a community that defied the laws of economics and overcame shackles that made development difficult and seemingly impossible." The information used was gathered by the author from articles in the "Anchorage Daily Times" newspaper which was owned by her husband, Robert Atwood and published since "tent city" days as well as other sources. In the back is a chronology of the 40 years of development.
  Between Two Rivers : the Growth of Chugiak-Eagle River, Alaska Cochrane, Marjorie. , updated edition (Anchorage : Alaska State Historical Commission, 1997 1983), 192 pp., paperback, ISBN0943712122, 3601 C Street, Suite 1278, Anchorage, AK 99503-5921. The fiftieth anniversary of its founding serves as the occasion for the revision and reissue of this long out-of-print 1982 work, with an added update, "The Eagles Return to Yukla Valley."
  Bill and Lily: Two Alaskans Stolt, William, and Lilian Stolt. (Anchorage: Publication Consultants, 1997), 272 pp., cloth, ISBN 1888125144. wln97-281702. Life stories of Anchorage residents who have been here since the founding of the town in 1915.
Coming into the Country by John McPhee , Residents of the Lower 48 sometimes imagine Alaska as a snow-covered land of igloos, oil pipelines, and polar bears. But Alaska is far more complex geographically, culturally, ecologically, and politically than most Americans know, and few writers are as capable of capturing this complexity as John McPhee. In Coming into the Country, McPhee describes his travels through much of the state with bush pilots, prospectors, and settlers, as well as politicians and businesspeople who have their eyes set on a very different future for the state.
  Diamonds in the Rough : Baseball Stories from Alaska Freedman, Lew. (Kenmore, WA : Epicenter Press, 2000), 247 pp., paper, ISBN 0945397828, Box 82368, Kenmore, WA 98028. History of baseball under the northern lights, told by the sports editor for the Anchorage Daily News.
  Elmendorf Air Force Base Homestead Study Daugherty, Paula M. and Becky M. Saleeby. (Anchorage : National Park Service, Alaska Support Office, 1998), 82 pp., paper, 2525 Gambell Street, Room 107, Anchorage, AK 99503-2892. Illustrated history of the cultural remains of civilian homesteads which were incorporated into Elemendorf Air Force Base, near Anchorage, in the early 1940s.
  Elmendorf Air Force Base, Volume I : Historic Context of World War II Buildings and Structures Cook, Linda. ([Anchorage : Alaska Support Office,] National Park Service, 1999) 106 pp., paper, 2525 Gambell Street, Anchorage AK 99503-2892. Illustrated history of this Anchorage Air Force installation and a survey of its buildings, except for those built between 1940-45, which will appear in Volume II.
  Fashion Means your Fur Hat is Dead : a Guide to Good Manners and Social Survival in Alaska Doogan, Mike. illustrated by Dee Boyles. (Fairbanks : Epicenter Press, c1996), 157 p., paper, ISBN 0945397542 (Box 60529, Fairbanks, AK 99706, dist. By Graphic Arts Center Publishing, PO Box 10306, Portland, OR 97296-0306). LC96-86224. Anchorage Daily News columnist and humorist presents his version of an Alaska "code of conduct."
  Fond Memories of Anchorage Pioneers : Personal Histories Written by Pioneers of Alaska, Igloo 15, Auxiliary 4.(Anchorage, Alaska : The Pioneers, 1996), 286p., cloth (Box 101041, Anchorage, AK 99510-1041). LC 95-083083. Sketches of members of the Anchorage organization that keeps alive the memories of Alaska's early settlers.
  Forever Alaska Johnson, Nona J. Hall. (Eagle River : The Author, 1999) 210 pp., paper, ISBN 0965307441, available from Cook Inlet Book Company, 415 West Fifth Avenue, Anchorage AK 99501. Alaskan memories of a World War II Woman Marine who lived in Anchorage, Seldovia and Fairbanks.
  Hillside - a history : a compilation of interviews with original homesteaders : as recorded by Mr. Stoops' six grade enrichment class Stoops, James G., ed. / Anchorage, AK : J.G. Stoops (Anchorage School District, POB. 196614, Anchorage, AK 99519-6614), 1993. 96 p. Cover title reads: " the homesteaders, stories of the early homesteaders of the south Anchorage hillside." LC94-140228.
  Interviews with Alaskans Stoops, Gary and Noel Grunwaldt. (Anchorage : Anchorage School District, 1998), 131 pp. A gathering of interviews from some of the people who shaped and contributed to the formation of the city of Anchorage and the state of Alaska.
  Intrepid Selkreggs Beat the Alcan-October 1958 Selkregg, Jr., Fred M. ([Anchorage: The Author, 1997?]), 55 pp., comb-bound. The Selkregg family leaves Illinois in a Buick Roadmaster pulling an enormous trailer, drives the Alcan Highway, and finds a new home in Anchorage.
  Memories of Old Sunrise : Gold Mining on Alaska's Turnagain Arm Morgan, Albert Weldon. / edited by Rolfe G. Buzzell / Anchorage : Cook Inlet Historical Society (121 West 7th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501), 1994. 104p. Adventures of a Gold Rush miner in the Turnagain Arm area, south of Anchorage, 1897-1901. ISBN187862016. LC94-68464.
  Mostly Music : the Story of Lorene C. Harrison, Alaska's Cultural Pioneer Barske, Dianne. (Anchorage : Publications Consultants, 2000), 248 pp., paper, ISBN 1888125616, order from Cook Inlet Book Company, 415 West Fifth Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501. Life story of Anchorage's first music teacher, who has actively served the community for seven decades.
  Mr. Whitekeys' Alaska Bizarre: Direct from the Whale Fat Follies Revue in Anchorage Whitekeys, Mr.,(Anchorage: Alaska Northwest Books, 1995), 144 p., ISBN 0882404709, 2208 NW Market St., Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98107. Nightclub owner's view of Alaska. LC 95-34812.
  Murder in the Family Barer, Burl, (New York : Kensington Pub. Corp., 2000), 319 pp., paper, ISBN 0786011351, 850 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022. Recounts 1987 killings of mother and two children in Anchorage and subsequent arrest and trial of killer, a relative of the Newman family.
Northwest Epic, The Building of the Alaska Highway by Heath Twichell, St. Martins Press, New York, 1992, 368 pages.
  Pioneer Settlers of Anchorage, Alaska Barry, Mary J. Jack and Nellie Brown : (Anchorage : MJP Barry, 2000), 142 pp., paper, ISBN 0961700971, order from Cook Inlet Book Company, 415 West Fifth Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501. Life stories of the first permanent residents of Anchorage, who arrived on their honeymoon in 1912 and stayed until their deaths six decades later.
Race Across Alaska: first woman to win the Iditarod tells her story by Libby Riddles.
Storm Run: The Story of the First Woman to Win the Iditarod Sled Dog Race by Libby Riddles
  Story of Glacier Valley : True Tales from the Top of Mt. Alyeska, Girdwood, Alaska Bercee, Loverne. (Anchorage : Professional Colorgraphics Printing & Publishing, Inc., 1998) 119 pp., paper, P.O. Box 465, Girdwood, AK 99587. A compilation of personal stories about life in Girdwood and Mt. Alyeska, including the 1964 earthquake.
The Alaska Airlines Story by Archie Satterfield. Paperback ,From the grease and glamor of flying to board-room maneuvering, and from the glaciers of Alaska to the deserts of the Middle East, this is the story of Alaska Airlines, one of the most adventurous and adaptable airlines in American history. The story begins in the early 1930s when every pilot in Alaska qualified to be called a bush pilot, and when they had to be extremely resourceful. Alaska Airlines began as McGee Airways, then Star Airlines based in Anchorage. Then through a series of mergers and sales based more on financial desperation than on careful planning, it became legendary in many ways, some not the kind of legend on which to build a reputation.
The Alaska Pipeline (Building America) by Craig A. Doherty, Katherine M. Doherty , The incredible story of an 800-mile-long pipe, built in the frozen north, and designed to deliver about 2 million barrels of oil each day. 'Building America' chronicles the massive undertakings that mark some of the greatest triumphs of human engineering.
The Alaska Purchase (Spotlight on American History) by Daniel Cohen The story of how Alaska came to be part of the United States includes the long and troubled history of Russian exploration and exploitation as well as the eventual acquisition by the United States. The tale is complex and is made more so by the lack of maps, over reliance on text, and inclusion of too much detail. Occasional historical illustrations and photographs, some in color, are included. Bib., ind. -- Copyright 1996 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Alaska Purchase in American History (In American History) by David K. Fremon
No review available.
The Purchase of Alaska by Archie Shiels (1967)
  Tordrillo : Pioneer Climbs and Flights in the Tordrillo Mountains of Alaska, 1957-1997 Wilson, Rodman.(Anchorage : Todd Communications, 1999) 220 pp., cloth, ISBN: 1578330939, available from Cook Inlet Book Company, 415 West Fifth Avenue, Anchorage AK 99501. A compendium of tales of exploration, pioneer flights and climbs and of the people who made them--splashed liberally with pictures. A reference or source book for anyone who becomes intrigued with this little-known, yet not remote, domain of rock and ice, located across Cook Inlet from Anchorage.

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