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Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land
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Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The history of Alaska is filled with stories of new land and new riches -- and ever present are new people with competing views over how these resources should be used: Russians exploiting a fur empire; explorers checking rival advances; prospectors stampeding to the clarion call of "Gold!"; soldiers battling out a decisive chapter in world war; oil wildcatters looking for ...more
Hardcover, 624 pages
Published February 4th 2003 by Harper (first published February 1st 2003)
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J.
Walter R. Borneman tells the interesting social and political history of Alaska, from the Native peoples through the Russian occupation and the sale to the United States down to the present day. The last 100 years or so is covered in greater detail than much of the time prior, but this is still the most comprehensive book about Alaska that I could find. Given the large size of Alaska there is a lot of ground covered in this book from mountaineering and those who surveyed and climbed the peaks to ...more
Stuart
An excellent readable history of Alaska. As with several books I have read recently, I am trying to learn more about the biggest state of the union prior to a visit there. This book added to my knowledge; it was different from others in that it was not a travel book, but a history book. I felt it succeeded at giving a wide-ranging description of Alaska, even handedly discussing the various booms and busts that have been part of the story – fur exploitation, fishing, oil, war and tourism. I learn ...more
Jennifer Zartman
It took me a long time to read this book. I own a hardback copy, and with 608 pages it lacks the portability of my Kindle, so I often left it at home when my reading time would be elsewhere. This didn't create a problem with continuity, however, as Walter Borneman organized the book into nine mini-books, making it easy to read in stages. Borneman also tells the saga with skill and an engaging writing style, so the book is never boring. The end notes, bibliography and index take up an impressive ...more
Joshua Horn
A general overview the history of Alaska from the natives to the present. A constant theme throughout the book is whose land? Should it be conserved as untouched wilderness or should development be allowed? Does the nation have an interest in the land or is it owned completely by private citizens? Although it seemed that the author leaned more towards conservationalism, he did present the other side. A good overview that can lead to much deeper study.
Manuel
This is a very dense history book. It describes every single expedition in great detail. There are so many names dropped I can't remember a single one now. It took me fucking forever to finish it. I wish it was less dry and had more of a narrative weaved through it.
I have to give props for the level of detail though.
Also it doesn't have much contemporary history, the bulk of the book is devoted to pre-1950s.
Mike Carey
This wasn't my type of book. Seemed to be more like a text book. i personally need the author to be able to weave a narrative into the material to keep me engaged. I didn't finish the book - Just too many books to read for me to spend time on one that I really didn't enjoy. having said that I think that the book is a great source of information about Alaska.
Nomad
State history books generaly contain a lot of dates and facts,but can be dry to read, I got a lot of facts from this book and it was easy reading. I read it on my 7 day drive up to alaska from the lower 48. I would recommend this book.
Erik
Walter Borneman provides an interesting, informative, sweeping overview of the history of Alaska and its geography. This book is recommended reading for anyone considering traveling to Alaska for work or pleasure.
William
I found it to be a highly informative and enjoyable read, taking us through the history of the state and its people. Borneman goes into a lot of detail on a subject that's otherwise often overlooked in American history.
Jen Sparks
I enjoyed reading this book quite a bit. It was a tremendously-detailed coverage of the history of Alaska and I learned a lot from reading it.
Brian
This is a book punctuated by funny moments in Alaskan history and amusing quotes, but otherwise leaves one asking, "why is it so long?"
Jenny
It was too long - too big, like the state itself! If I'd had more time, I might have been able to get into it.
Judy
Great book telling about the discovery of Alaska to the present day.
Jim
Good thorough history of Alaska but rather dry reading.
Patti
Excellent history of Alaska
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Walter R. Borneman, b.1952, an American historian and lawyer, is the author of well-known popular books on 18th and 19th century United States history. He received his B.A. in 1974 from Western State College of Colorado, and received an M.A. in history there in 1975 for a thesis on "Irwin : silver camp of the Ruby Mountains"; in 1981 he received a law degree from the University of Denver, and prac ...more
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