Alaskana 2011

Alaska History, Vol. 26, #1, Spring 2011

Alaskana is an annotated listing of recent publications on the North featured in Alaska History, the journal of the Alaska Historical Society.

Compiled by Teressa Williams, Anchorage Museum.

Hall Anderson, Still Rainin’ Still Dreamin’: Hall Anderson’s Ketchikan (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2010), 118 pp., softcover, $35.00, ISBN 9781889963907.  A pictorial history of three decades of life in Ketchikan from a Ketchikan Daily News staff photographer.

Susan B. Andrews and John Creed, editors, Purely Alaska: Authentic Voices from the Far North: Stories from 23 Rural Alaskans (Kenmore, WA: Epicenter Press, 2011), 304 pp., softcover, $17.95, ISBN 9781935347101.  An anthology of short stories written by Alaskan writers from the remote regions of Alaska

James A. Barker, Ann Fienup-Riordan, and Theresa Arevgaq John, Yupiit Yuraryarait: Yup’ik Ways of Dancing (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2011), 237 pp., hardcover, includes a DVD, $50.00, ISBN 9781602230828.  This book won the 2011 Alaskana award from the Alaska Library Association.

Anthony Brandt, The Man Who Ate His Boots: The Tragic History of the Search for the Northwest Passage (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010), 464 pp., hardcover, $28.95, ISBN 9780307263926.  A history of the search for the Northwest Passage.

Douglas Brinkley, The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960 (New York: HarperCollins Publishing, 2011), 592 pp., hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 9780062005960.  A history of conservation of Alaska’s wilderness.

Terrence Cole, Fighting for the Forty-Ninth Star: C. W. Snedden and the Crusade for Alaska Statehood (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2010), 502 pp., hardcover, $30.00, ISBN 9781883309060.  The story of how C. W. Snedden helped Alaska become a state.

James W. Davis, The Raven and the Double Eagle (Xlibris Corporation, 2010), 146 pp., softcover, $19.99 plus shipping, ISBN 9781456819668.  To purchase a copy call the Sitka Historical Museum at 907-747-6455.  This book looks at the relationship between the Russians and the Tlingits in the early 1800s.

David H. DeJong, Plagues, Politics, and Policy: A Chronicle of the Indian Health Service, 1955-2008 (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011), 250 pp., hardcover, $70.00, ISBN 9780739146033.  History of the health challenges of American Indians and Alaska Natives over the past fifty years.

James C. Foster, Bong Hits 4 Jesus: A Perfect Constitutional Storm in Alaska’s Capital (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2010), 373 pp., softcover, $29.95, ISBN 9781602230897.  High school student Joseph Frederick and friends held a banner reading “BONG HiTS 4 JESUS” during the 2002 Olympic Torch Relay in Alaska which sparked a U.S. Supreme Court case affecting the First Amendment speech rights.

Amy Gulick, Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska’s Tongass Rain Forest (Seattle: Mountaineers Books, 2010), 176 pp., hardcover, includes a CD, $29.95, ISBN 9781594850912.  A look into the ecology and history of the Tongass National Forest.

George Harbeson Jr., Homesteaders in the Headlights: One Family’s Journey from a Depression-Era New Jersey Farm to a New Life in Wasilla, Alaska (Walnut Creek, CA: Hardscratch Press, 2010), 312 pp., $21.50, ISBN 9780978997984. Biography of the Harbeson family from the 1950s to the ‘60s.

Linda Johnson, The Kandik Map (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2011), 232 pp., softcover, $19.95, ISBN 9781602230422.  The story of how and why Native American Paul Kandik and French explorer Francois Mercier created the Kandik map.

Aldona Jonaitis and Aaron Glass, The Totem Pole: An Intercultural History (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010), 331 pp., hardcover, $50.00, ISBN 9780295989624.  History and transformation of the art in totem poles from the eighteenth century to the present.

Jeffery A. Jones and Laurie Hoyle, Arctic Sanctuary: Images of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2010), 173 pp., hardcover, $55.00 ISBN 9781602230880.  A pictorial view of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Preston Jones, City for Empire: An Anchorage History, 1914-1941 (Fairbanks, University of Alaska Press, 2010), 232 pp., $26.95, softcover, ISBN 9781602230842.  The story of Anchorage’s development and its diverse inhabitants.

Steve Kahn, The Hard Way Home: Alaska Stories of Adventure, Friendship, and the Hunt (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2010), 224 pp., hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 9780803232686.  Anecdotes on the great outdoors in Alaska.

Matti Lainema and Juha Nurminen, A History of Arctic Exploration: Discovery, Adventure and Endurance at the Top of the World (London: Conway and New York: Sterling Publishing, 2010), 352 pp., hardcover, $60.00, ISBN 9781844860692.  The stories of explorers searching for the Northwest Passage and the race for the North Pole.

Huw Lewis-Jones, Face to Face: Polar Portraits (London: Conway Publishing, 2010), 288 pages, hardcover, $39.95, ISBN 9781844860999.  Photographs and portraits from the Scott Polar Research Institute of polar explorers.

Robert Lyon, editor, Jeff. Smiths Parlor Museum Historic Structure Report ([Anchorage]: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, Alaska Regional Office, 2010), 125 pp., spiral bound, request from the National Park Service Alaska Regional Office 240 West 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501.  A detailed chronological history of the Jeff. Smiths Parlor Museum and recommendation of treatment to preserve the building.

Gwenn A. Miller, Kodiak Kreol: Communities of Empire in Early Russian America (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010), 216 pp., hardcover, $55.00, ISBN 9780801446429.  The history of the early Russian colonization of Kodiak.

Rod Perry, Trailbreakers: Pioneering Alaska’s Iditarod, Vol. II: Most Daring Iditarod Adventure of All Time: Founding the Last Great Race on Earth (Chugiak, AK: Rod Perry, 2010), 350 pp., softcover, $19.95, ISBN 0982373015. Available from the author at  History of the Iditarod sled dog race.

Ken Tape, The Changing Arctic Landscape (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2010), 56 pp., hardcover, $35.00, ISBN 9781602230804.  A comparison of historic photographs to pictures of the present of arctic landscapes and the changes in the ecosystem that have taken place.

Spike Walker, On the Edge of Survival: A Shipwreck, a Raging Storm, and the Harrowing Alaskan Rescue That Became a Legend (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2010), 288 pp., hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 9780312286347.  The account of a cargo ship that ran aground off the Aleutian Islands on December 8, 2004 and the heroic efforts to rescue the crew.

Sara Wheeler, The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 336 pp., hardcover, $26.00, ISBN 9780374200138.  Story of Sara Wheeler’s adventures of traveling around the North Pole through Russia, the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Finland.

Glyndwr Williams, Arctic Labyrinth: The Quest for the Northwest Passage (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010), 462 pp., hardcover, $34.95, ISBN 9780520266278.  The history of explorers searching for the Northwest Passage.

Roxanne Willis, Alaska’s Place in the West: From the Last Frontier to the Last Great Wilderness (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2010), 186 pp., hardcover, $34.95, ISBN 9780700617487.  An examination of the battles between environmentalists and developers, including the Alaska Highway, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and the Rampart Dam.

Alaska History, Vol. 26, #2, Fall 2011

Compiled by Teressa Williams, Anchorage Museum.

James K. Barnett, Alaskan History – In Brief (Anchorage: Todd Communications, 2010), 208 pp., softcover, $16.95, ISBN-10 1578335175, ISBN-13 9781578335176.  Contact Todd Communications, 611 E. 12th Ave, Suite 102, Anchorage, AK 99501-4603, or email at or at  A succinct overview of Alaska’s history, including Alaska Native peoples, Russian America, World War II in the territory, Statehood, and other important topics.

Kenneth E. Bingham, Seabee Book, the U.S. Navy Seabee Alaskan Oil Expedition 1944: With Additional Alaskan World War Two History, Construction Battalion Detachment 1058 (Binghamus Press, 2011), 270 pp., softcover, ISBN-10 1461028248, ISBN-13 9781461028246.  Contact  This self-published book looks at the Naval Seabee Construction Battalion Detachment 1058 (NCBD-1058) that explored for oil on the North Slope of Alaska, as well as other Seabee units that were involved with World War II in the Aleutians, the Alaska Scouts, and the construction of the ALCAN.

Howard Blum, The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the Last Frontier and the Yukon Gold Rush (New York: Crown Publishers, 2011), 432 pp., hardcover, $26.00, ISBN-10 0307461726, ISBN-13 9780307461728.  This book tells the lives of Charlie Siringo, a cowboy turned businessman turned Pinkerton detective; Jefferson “Soapy” Smith, criminal and gangster in Skagway; and George Carmack who is credited with the discovery of gold that set off the Klondike Gold Rush.

Jane Bryant, Snapshots from the Past: A Roadside History of Denali National Park and Preserve ([Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, 2011), 204 pp., softcover.  A pictorial history of Denali National Park following the park road from the east entrance to the west at Kantishna.

Gladys Dart and Alfred Wright, In Deed, Indeed: Teaching and Learning in a One Room School (Denver: Outskirts Press, Inc., 2009), 145 pp., softcover, $32.95, ISBN-10 1432739565, ISBN-13 9781432739560.  Gladys Dart, a former teacher, administrator, and regional school board member, related her story and educational philosophy to Alfred Wright, a student at the Gladys Dart School whose classroom assignment turned into this book.

Leonard H. Delano, Sunken Klondike Gold: How a Lost Fortune Inspired an Ambitious Effort to Raise the S.S. Islander ([Newberg, OR]: Delano Publishing, 2011), 176 pp., softcover, $24.95, ISBN-10 1450736602, ISBN-13 9781450736602.  It was thought that the Islander had gold worth $3 million when it sank off the coast of Juneau in 1901, and it was resurrected in 1934 with one thing in mind, to find the missing gold.

Bonnie Demerjian, Wrangell (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2011), 127 pp., softcover, $21.99, ISBN-10 0738574988, ISBN-13 9780738574981.  As part of the Images of America series, this publication looks at the history of Wrangell, Alaska.

Aaron Glass, editor and Mique’l Askren and others, contributors, Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast: Selections from the American Museum of Natural History (New York: Bard Graduate Center, Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture; New Haven, CT: distributed by Yale University Press, 2011), 256 pp., softcover, $40.00, ISBN-10 030017442X, ISBN-13 9780300174427.  This book explores the change in material culture of Northwest Coast peoples in the late nineteenth century from the perspective of objects from the American Museum of Natural History.

Jay S. Hammond, Diapering the Devil: How Alaska Helped Staunch Befouling by Mismanaged Oil Wealth; a Lesson for Other Oil Rich Nations (Homer, AK: Kachemack Resource Institute, 2011), 63 pp., softcover, $12.00, ISBN-13 9780979744280.  Contact Kachemack Resource Institute, 1520 Lakeshore Dr., Homer, AK 99603, or email  Governor Hammond’s last manuscript before he passed away in 2005, with his thoughts on Alaska’s Permanent Fund and how to prevent the mismanagement of Alaska’s petroleum wealth, unlike many of the world’s oil rich countries.

Michael D. Hall, Robert Davidson, and Pat Glascock, Carvings and Commerce: Model Totem Poles 1880-2010 (Saskatoon: Mendel Art Gallery, 2011), 223 pp., hardcover, $60.00, ISBN-13 9780295991498.  Contact the University of Washington Press at  This book is based on an exhibition at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon, Canada which traces the history of model totem poles from the late nineteenth century to the present.

Steven C. Levi, The Clara Nevada: Gold, Greed, Murder and Alaska’s Inside Passage (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2011), 128 pp., softcover, $19.99, ISBN-10 1609492889, ISBN-13 9781609492885.  The story of the sunken steamer, the Clara Nevada, in the Lynn Canal in Alaska’s southeast in 1898 and how it may have been due to murder and greed.

Amber Lincoln with John Goodwin and others, Living With Old Things: Iñupiaq Stories, Bering Strait Histories ([Anchorage]: National Park Service, [Alaska Region, Shared Beringian Heritage Program], 2010), 43 pp., softcover.  Contact the Shared Beringian Heritage Program, National Park Service, 240 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501; or ebook at  An exchange of stories and knowledge from Iñupiat elders and museum personnel of artifacts tcollected by the British Naval Ship HMS Blossom in 1826-1827 from the Bering Strait area and stored in three British museums.

Frederick G. Lyman, All This and Attu (Lyman Family, 2011), 88 pp., softcover, $8.95, ISBN-10 1460936388, ISBN-13 9781460936382.  Frederick Lyman’s memoir of his time spent serving in the Aleutian Island campaign during World War II.

Michael McGuire, Angels to Ashes: Largest Unsolved Mass Murder in Alaska History (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2010), 152 pp., softcover, $11.95, ISBN-13 9781452038254.  Contact  As the author was personally involved with the case of the murders of eight people aboard the fishing vessel Investor, he sheds light on new evidence in this gruesome crime.

Barb Mee, Senator Ted and Mee (Anchorage, Alaska: BAM Publishing: Todd Communications, 2010), 208 pp., softcover, $19.95, ISBN-13 9781578335022. Contact Todd Communications, 611 E. 12th Ave, Suite 102, Anchorage, AK 99015-4603, or email at or at  Memoir by one of Senator Ted Steven’s long time staffer’s Barbara Mee.

Linda Millard and Nycole Gizinski, The Legacy of Saxman: Looking to the Future Through Out Past ([Juneau]: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Alaska Region, Branch of Regional Archeology, 2011), 61 pp., softcover.  This publication looks at the history to the present of the Tlingit people of Saxman, Alaska.

John M. Miller, The Last Alaskan Barrel: An Arctic Oil Bonanza that Never Was (Anchorage: Caseman Publishing, 2010), 193 pp., softcover, $19.95, ISBN-10 0982878001, ISBN-13 9780982878002.  The author analyzes if the fifty year investment into the North Slope oil fields is worth the investment for the companies and shareholders; and what the future of oil and natural gas might be in Alaska.

Hannah Moderow, The Frozen Trail: Alaska’s Iditarod National Historic Trail (Anchorage: Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance, 2011), 28 pp., softcover.  Contact the Iditarod National Historic Trail, PO Box 232, Seward, AK 99664.  This book gives a historic overview of the Iditarod Trail from its inception during Alaska’s Gold Rush era, to the Serum Run and to what it has become today.

Lael Morgan, Eskimo Star: From the Tundra to Tinseltown the Ray Mala Story (Kenmore, WA: Epicenter Press, 2011), 144 pp., softcover, $19.95, ISBN-10 1935347128, ISBN-13 9781935347125.  The story of Ray Mala, from his life in Alaska to overnight stardom as an actor, and his ability to adapt between two cultures.

Amy Mow, editor, Snapshots of Seward: A History in Photos (Seward, AK: Seward Community Library Association, 2010), 102 pp., softcover, $16.95, ISBN-13 9780615333090.  A selection of historic photographs depicting the history of Seward.

Alice Rearden, translator, and Ann Fienup-Riordan, editor, Qaluyaarmiuni nunamtenek qanemciput = Our Nelson Island Stories: Meanings of Place on the Bering Sea Coast (Anchorage: Calista Elders Council; Seattle: in association with University of Washington Press, 2011), 441 pp., softcover, $50.00, ISBN-10 0295991356, ISBN-13 9780295991351.  Contact University of Washington Press, c/o Hopkins Fulfillment Services., PO Box 50370, Baltimore, MD 21211-4370 or  Nelson Island elders tell the story of their worldview and subsistence lifestyle from the 1940s to the present, depicting the dramatic changes in the environment that have taken place in the last sixty years.

Stanley Reed and Alison Fitzgerald, In Too Deep: BP and the Drilling Race That Took it Down (Hoboken, NJ: Bloomberg Press, 2011), 226 pp., hardcover, $24.95, ISBN-10 0470950900, ISBN-13 9780470950906.  This book explores the environmental disasters that have taken place at a number of BP operations from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, and examines why they have occurred and what the future entails for BP.

Anne K. Salomon, Henry Huntington and Nick Tanape Sr., Imam Cimiucia Our Changing Sea (Fairbanks, Alaska Sea Grant College Program, 2011), 105 pp., hardcover, $39.95, ISBN-10 1566121590, ISBN-13 9781566121590.  With the fear of their traditional subsistence practices and knowledge becoming lost, the Sugpiaq elders of Port Graham and Nanwalek collaborated with other residents, a social scientist and a doctoral student in marine ecology to weave together archaeological data, historical records and traditional knowledge to explore the decline of the bidarki, a type of shellfish that is an important subsistence resource for the Sugpiat.

Stephen J. Spurr, In Search of the Kuskokwim and Other Great Endeavors: The Life and Times of J. Edward Spurr (Kenmore, WA: Epicenter Press, 2010), 220 pp., softcover, $17.95, ISBN-10 1935347047,  ISBN-13 9781935347040.  In 1896 and 1898, the U.S. Geological Survey commissioned J. Edward Spurr to explore and map the Yukon and Kuskokwim regions.

Tim Troll, Sailing for Salmon: The Early Years of Commercial Fishing in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, 1884-1951 (Dillingham, AK: Nushagak-Mulchatna/Wood Tikchik Land Trust, 2011), 60 pp., softcover, ISBN-10 0615470505, ISBN-13 9780615470504.  Contact Nushagak-Mulchatna/Wood Tikchik Land Trust, PO Box 1388, Dillingham, AK 99576.  A pictorial history of early commercial fishing in Bristol Bay.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Battle for the Aleutians: A Brief Illustrated History ([Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Region, 2011), 36 pp., softcover.  A pictorial history of World War II in the Aleutians.

John H. Venables, Journey to Statehood – Alaska Becomes Our 49th State (Alaska Litho, Incorporated, 2011), 72 pp., softcover, $20.00, ISBN-10 061542709X, ISBN-13 9780615427096.  John Venables, a resident of Haines, relates the stories of William H. Seward, Judge James Wickersham, and E. L. Bob Bartlett regarding the journey to statehood.

Ilya Vinkovetsky, Russian America: An Overseas Colony of a Continental Empire, 1804-1867 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 272 pp., hardcover, $49.95, ISBN-10 0195391284, ISBN-13 9780195391282.  A look at how the Russian Empire controlled its Alaskan colony from 1741 to 1867 under the rule of the Russian-American Company.