AHS Blog

Book Release

Date Posted: December 8, 2016       Categories: News

University of Alaska Press announces the release offarrow-book-cover

Sewards’ Folly: A New Look at the Alaska Purchase

By Lee A. Farrow

Available December 2016

Paper Price: $25.95


About the Book:

The Alaska Purchase—denounced at the time as “Seward’s Folly” but now seen as a masterstroke—is well known as a key moment in American history. But few know the whole story.

This book aims to correct that. Lee A. Farrow offers here a detailed account of just what the Alaska Purchase was, how it came about, its impact at the time, and more. Farrow shows why both America and Russia had plenty of good reasons to want the sale to occur, including Russia’s desire to let go of an unprofitable, hard-to-manage colony and the belief in the United States that securing Alaska could help the nation facilitate control of the continent and, many believed, eventually lead to the absorption of British Columbia. Farrow also delves into the implications of the deal for foreign policy and international diplomacy far beyond Russia and the United States at a moment when the global balance of power was in question.

A thorough, readable retelling of a story we only think we know, Seward’s Folly will become the standard book on the Alaska Purchase.

Lee A. Farrow is distinguished teaching professor in the Department of History at Auburn University at Montgomery and director of Auburn’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.