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Tales of Alaska's Bush Rat Governor: The Extraordinary Autobiography of Jay Hammond, Wilderness Guide and Reluctant Politician
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Tales of Alaska's Bush Rat Governor: The Extraordinary Autobiography of Jay Hammond, Wilderness Guide and Reluctant Politician

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  7 reviews
A former Marine fighter pilot, Jay Hammond heads north to Alaska after World War II. He becomes a trapper, bush pilot, fisherman, guide, wolf hunter, poet, environmentalist, and finally a reluctant politician who endears himself to Alaska's people by telling them the unvarnished and sometimes unwelcome truth about the state of affairs in their oil-boom state. They punish h ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Epicenter Press (first published April 1st 1994)
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Lisa Kearns
I just finished this biography and really enjoyed it. I knew who Jay Hammond was since his name pops up in almost every Alaska book I read. What I didn't know is that he had a great sense of humor and must have been a hoot as a friend and neighbor.

I enjoyed reading about his childhood, his Air Force service during WWII, his marriage(s) and kids, and the many jobs he had on his way to Governor. I do wish he had talked more about his experiences building his cabin and fishing, hunting, trapping an
Daniel Cornwall
Overall a good read for those in Alaska history. The whole book is a series of vignettes rather than a single narrative. The effect is somewhat disjointed. I personally found the first third of the book hard to get through, but things did quickly pick up from there.

More documentation of material would have been nice - examples of the Anchorage Daily Times treatment of him, bill numbers for legislation Hammond said he got passed because legislators weren't much for reading.

On the plus side, Ham
This is the kind of book you can get more out of with each reading as you become more familiar with the issues and history of Alaska. It is truly remarkable for a person such as Jay Hammond to have become so passionate and thoughtful about ways to achieve sustainability, both economic and environmental.
Faith Weldon
Jan 09, 2011 Faith Weldon rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Faith by: my daughter

Jay Hammond grew up in the Capital District of NYS--Troy, Scotia and Saratoga. I found that interesting. He wound up in Alaska after WWII and was involved in politics when Alaska entered statehood. I found this autobriography entertaining and enlightening.
Jun 01, 2007 Tom rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Alaskans and people who are interested in Alaska
Some great yarns from the legendary--and amazingly sensible and competent--governor of Alaska. One of the best governors ever, and probably the best in Alaskan history.
Well written. Makes me want to get my pilot's license.
Kaye Sivori
Interesting stories!!
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