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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.


Alaska, 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

Button Seldovia, An Historical Portrait of Life in Herring Bay, by Susan Woodward Springer. Indexed!
Button Once Upon the Kenai, Stories from the People. Indexed!
Button 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.
Button 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
Button 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.
Button 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.
Button 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.
Button The Alaska Purchase in American History (In American History) by David K. Fremon
No review available.
Button 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.
Button 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.
Button 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.
Button 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.
Button 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. 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..
Button Northwest Epic, The Building of the Alaska Highway, by Heath Twichell, St. Martins Press, New York, 1992, 368 pages.
Button Gold Panning : a Guide to Recreational Gold Panning on the Kenai Peninsula, Chugach National Forest, Alaska, ([Anchorage?] : United States Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Alaska Region, 1997), 26 pp., paperback, free, GPO 37-181834. Produced by a group from the Chugach National Forest and from the Bureau of Land Management, this guide gives all the necessary information on recreational panning for gold, including maps and panning sites.
Button History of Mining on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, Barry, Mary J. revised edition, (Anchorage: M.J.P. Barry, 1997), 296 pp., paper, ISBN 0-9617009-5-5,323 West Harvard Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501. LC 96-095346. Expanded edition of the author's 1973 classic.
Button Kenai Peninsula, Rennick, Penny, ed.,vol. 21, no. 2, Alaska Geographic / Anchorage: Alaska Geographic Society (POB 93370, Anchorage, AK 99509), 1994. 128p. This issue concentrates on the resources, prehistory, wildlife and recreation in the communities of the Kenai Peninsula. ISBN1566610206.
Button 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.
Button Homer Spit: Coal, Gold, & Con Men, Klein, Janet R. (Homer: Kachemak Country Publications, 1996), 70 p. , paper, ,ISBN0965115712 (PO Box 3406, Homer, AK 99603-3406). LC 96-9465. Compendium of quotations and illustrations from the earliest recorded history of the Homer Spit through the early 1900s, published to celebrate the Centennial of the naming of Homer in 1896.
Button If You've Got it to Do, Williams, Wilma. (Homer, AK : Wizard Works, 1996), 184 p., paper, ISBN0962154385, PO Box 1125, Homer, AK 99603. wln97-167207. Homer pioneer tells about her life in Alaska.
Button Alaska Earthquake 1964 : Where Were You?, Griffin, Joy. (Homer, AK : Wizard Works, 1996), paper, 271p., ISBN0962154377 (PO Box 1125, Homer, AK 99603-1125). wln97-45519. "In 1994, the 30th anniversary of the quake, the Friends of the Homer Public Library asked residents for recollections of that day. These are their stories, just as they have told them."
Button Dawg's Tale: The Story of the Salty Dawg Saloon, the Homer Spit & the Town of Homer, Alaska, Wood, Diane Ford. (Anchorage: Alaska Press, 1995), 224 p., paper, ISBN 945519206, P.O. Box 90565, Anchorage, AK 99509-0565. wln95-192621.
Button Of Moose and Men : A Skewed Look at Life in Alaska, Poynor, A. E. (Nikiski,, Alaska : OMM Books, 1999) 208 pp., paper, ISBN 0966791509, P. O. Box 7397, Nikiski AK 99635. A collection of humorous columns originally appearing in the Peninsula Clarion.
Button Archaeology of Kachemak Bay, Alaska, Klein, Janet R. (Homer: Kachemak Country Publications, 1996), 96 p., paper, ISBN0965115704 (PO Box 3406, Homer, AK 99603-3406.)
Button Distant Shores : The Odyssey of Rockwell Kent, Martin, Constance, with essays by Richard V. West. (Chesterfield, MA : Chameleon Books, 2000), 128 pp., cloth,ISBN 0520227115 or paper, ISBN 0520227123, 31 Smith Road, Chesterfield, MA 01012. Catalog for a museum exhibit of the controversial New England artist's work; he and his son spent the winter of 1918-19 on Fox Island in Resurrection Bay near Seward.
Button Handful of Pebbles: Stories from Seward History, Capra, Doug. (Seward: Yankee Sourdough Publications, 1995), 60 p., paper, ISBN 096465170X, P.O. Box 1574, Seward, AK 99664. "Six stories from Sewards' past interspersed with fifteen historic photographs of people and scenes." WLN 95-93678.
Button Seward, Alaska: A History of the Gateway City, Volume III: Growth, Tragedy, Recovery, Adaptation, 1924-1993, Barry, Mary J. (Anchorage: MJP Barry, 1995), 400 p., paper, ISBN O961700947, 323 West Harvard Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501. LC 86-071202.
Button Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska, Kent, Rockwell. (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1996), 204 p., paper, ISBN 0819552933, (23 South Main Street, Hanover, NH 03755-2048). Journal of the famed artist who, with his son, spent seven months on an island near Seward in 1918. This is a reprint of the 1920 text with a new introduction by Seward resident Doug Capra.
Button Historic Building Survey Report : Hope, Alaska, Olthuis, Diane. (Hope : Hope and Sunrise Historical Society, 1999) 129 pp., comb-bound, Hope and Sunrise Historical Society, Box 88, Hope AK 99605. An illustrated survey of the buildings in this small Turnagain Arm community.
Button 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.

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