Alaskana 2019

Alaska History, Vol. 34, #1, Spring 2019

Alaskana is an annotated listing of recent publications on the North featured in Alaska History, the journal of the Alaska Historical Society. All titles are available through the publisher,,, or your local library, unless otherwise noted.

Compiled by Kathy Ward, Juneau Public Libraries.

James K. Barnett and Ian C. Hartman, Imagining Anchorage: The Making of America’s Northernmost Metropolis (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2019) 488 pp., cloth, $45.00, ISBN: 9781602233669. A collection of essays by Anchorage locals and historians telling the city’s history.

Annie Boochever with Roy Peratrovich Jr., Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2019) 101 pp., paper, $16.95, ISBN: 9781602233706. Peratrovich, a Tlingit woman from Southeast Alaska, spearheaded the passage of America’s first civil rights legislation, the Alaska Anti-Discrimination Act in 1945, and will appear on the gold $1 coin in 2020.

Stuart Van Leer Bradley Jr., editor, Photo History of the Black 95th Engineer General Service Regiment in World War II, 2 volumes (Alexandria, VA: Railway Station Press, 2018) Vol. 1 is 74 pp., vol. 2 is 72 pp., paper, $10.00 each, v. 1 ISBN 9780000582725, v. 2 ISBN 9780999582732. Mainly photographs, including some photos of the construction of the Alcan (now the Alaska Highway) which was built during the war by this regiment.

Karen Brewster, For the Love of Freedom: Miners, Trappers, Hunting Guides, and Homesteaders, An Ethnographic Overview and Assessment, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (National Park Service, 2018) 275 pp. Through oral histories and written documentation, this book examines non-native groups living and working in the area now known as the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Alec W. Brindle Sr., Ward’s Cove: The Brindle Family in Alaska: 1912–2016 (Centralia, WA: Gorham Printing, 2017) 181 pp., paper, private printing, not for sale, no ISBN.

Frederick James Currier, An Alaskan Adventure: A Story of Finding Gold in the Far North From 1893-1903, Randy Zarnke, ed. (Fairbanks: Alaska Trappers Association, 2018) 176 pp., paper, $17.95, ISBN: 9781594338083. Currier prospected for gold on the Chena River near Fairbanks from the 1890s into the 1900s.

Douglas M. Fryer, Justice for Wards Cove (Ex Libris, 2016) 324 pp., paper, $19.99, ISBN: 9781514477083. An account of the legal battle that began in the 1970s between the Wards Cove Canneries and the cannery workers union regarding discrimination.

Ulrik Pram Gad and Jeppe Strandsbjerg, editors, The Politics of Sustainability in the Arctic: Reconfiguring Identity, Space, and Time (New York: Routledge, 2019) 261 pp., cloth, $140.00, ISBN: 9781138491830. It is often said that development in the Arctic must be sustainable; it is generally assumed that the enviroment is the key element. This text argues that other factors, including society, economy, culture, and identity must also be considered.

Alan Graham, Land Bridges: Ancient Environments, Plant Migrations, and New World Connections (Chicago: University Press, 2019) 288 pp., cloth, $150.00, paper, $50.00, ISBN: 9780226544151. This volume examines the impact of five ancient land bridges, including Beringia, and the impact they had on migrations and exchanges of micro and macro organisms.

Andrei V. Grinev, Russian Colonization of Alaska: Preconditions, Discovery, and Initial Development, 1741–1799 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018) 354 pp., cloth, $70.00, ISBN: 9781496207623. The years between 1741 and 1799 was the age of Russian colonies in Alaska; this book examines their establishment and evolution against the backdrop of Russian history.

Leland E. Hale, What Happened in Craig: Alaska’s Worst Unsolved Mass Murder (Kenmore, WA : Epicenter Press, 2018) 227 pp., paper, $19.95, ISBN: 9781941890226. In 1982, a fishing vessel was set on fire near Craig with the bodies of eight people aboard, all shot dead before the fire. Hale lays out what is known, but the murders are as yet unsolved.

Joan Rawlins Husby, Living Gold: The Story of Dave and Vera Penz at Kako, Alaska (Stanwood, WA: RainSong Press, 2018) 225 pp., paper, $14.00, ISBN: 9780982168127. The story of a missionary couple who established a Christian retreat for Native Alaskans in the Yukon- Kuskokwim Delta.

Kirk R. Johnson and Ray Troll, Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline: The Travels of an Artist and a Scientist Along the Shores of the Prehistoric Pacific (Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing, 2018) 290 pp., paper, $35.95, ISBN: 9781555917432. Take a road trip with Johnson and Troll from Baja California to Northern Alaska learning from fossils about the ancient world of the Pacific coast.

Peter Johnson, A Not-So-Savage Land: The Art and Times of Frederick Whymper, 1838– 1901 (Victoria, BC: Heritage House Publishing, 2018) 192 pp., paper, $29.95, ISBN: 9781772032208. Whymper sketched scenery and routes through Alaska and British Columbia for newspapers, scientific reports, and journals.

Michael Koskey, Varpu Lotvonen, and Laurel Tyrrell, editors, Through Their Eyes: A Community History of Eagle, Circle, and Central (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2018) 195 pp., paper, $19.95, ISBN: 9781602233577. While the three towns were born during the Gold Rush, they are located in traditional Athabaskan territories; through recent oral histories and archival documents, readers gain insight into centuries of interwoven activity.

David Leuthe, The 50-Year Summer, Jacquelin Pels, editor (Walnut Creek, CA: Hardscratch Press, 2018) 383 pp., paper, $22.00, ISBN: 9780983862888. The author writes about his years spent working summers in the fisheries off the Kenai Peninsula starting in the 1950s.

James Livingston, Mary Alice Finds Love in the Yukon (Amazon Kindle, 2018) 24 pp., e-book, $.99, ASIN: B07C359P65. An account of Mary Alice Livingston’s 1897-98 trip to Alaska shortly after her trial for murder in New York.

Robert J. Losey, Robert P. Wishart, and Jan Peter Laurens Loovers, Dogs in the North: Stories of Cooperation and Co-domestication (New York: Routledge, 2018) 298 pp., cloth, $150.00, ISBN: 9781138218406. Many culures in the circumpolar region thrive in partnership with dogs; this book examines the diversity of human-canine interactions in the area.

Shana F. Loshbaugh, editor, 150 Years: Proceedings of the 2017 Kenai Peninsula History Conference (Seattle: Skookum Creek Publishing, 2018) 317 pp., paper, $29.95, ISBN: 9781941633021. A compilation of the proceedings involving over 100 researchers, residents, and historians who gathered for the Alaska purchase sesquicentennial conference.

Larry Merculieff, Libby Roderick, Sharon Shay Sloan, Sumner MacLeish, and Galina Vladi, Perspectives on Indigenous Issues: Essays on Science, Spirituality, and the Power of Words (Anchorage: Global Center for Indigenous Leadership and Lifeways, 2018) 92 pp., paper, $12.00, ISBN: 9780692169308. Essays by several Native Alaskan writers on the intersection between traditional and western cultures.

Emily L. Moore, Proud Raven, Panting Wolf: Carving Alaska’s New Deal Totem Parks (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018) 288 pp., cloth, $39.93, ISBN: 9780295743936. Between 1938 and 1942, the New Deal extended to Alaska and paid Alaskan Native carvers to locate and restore deteriorating totem poles.

Amy Phillips-Chan, Nome (Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2019) 128 pp., paper, $21.99, ISBN: 9781467102919. The newest entry in the Images of America series traces the history of the city of Nome from its beginnings as a tent city during the Gold Rush to modern day.

Richard Proenneke and John B. Branson, The Journals of Richard L. Proenneke, 1986–1991: Your Life Here is an Inspiration (Donnellson, IA: Friends of Donnellson Public Library, The Richard Proenneke Museum, 2018) 490 pp., paper, $36.50, ISBN: 9781643163864. Volume 4 of Proenneke’s journals; recounts his later years in what is now Lake Clark National Park.

Kim Rich and Carol Sturgulewski, A Normal Life: A Memoir (Alaska Northwest Books, 2018) 238 pp., paper, $16.99, ISBN: 9781943328505. Continues the story of Rich’s life in Alaska as begun in Johnny’s Girl.

Carol A. Rotta, Where the Williwaws Blow: Homesteading in Alaska in the Early 1950s: A Memoir (CreateSpace, 2018) 293 pp., paper, $14.95, ISBN: 9781986398084. Homesteading on the Kenai Peninsula.

Bill Sheffield, Bill Sheffield: A Memoir, From the Great Depression to the Alaska Governor’s Mansion and Beyond (Anchorage: Susitna Publishing Co., 2018) 272 pp., cloth, $25.00, ISBN: 9781578336982. Sheffield details his struggles to succeed and thrive in Alaska.

William E. Simeone, Ahtna: The People and Their History: netseh dae’ tkughit’e’ “before us it was like this” (Ahtna, Incorporated, 2018) 224 pp., paper, $20.00, ISBN: 9781940381329. A look at the history of the Ahtna people and the ways their culture and society has changed through time and outside influences.

Thomas J. Sims, On Call in the Arctic: A Doctor’s Life in Pursuit of Life, Love, and Miracles in the Alaskan Frontier (New York: Pegasus Books, 2018) 307 pp., cloth, $27.95, ISBN: 9781681778518. Instead of serving in a medical unit in Vietnam, Sims found himself assigned to be the only doctor for Nome and the thirteen villages in the Norton Sound area.

Brad Stevens, The Ship, the Saint, and the Sailor: The Long Search for the Legendary Kad’yak (Berleley: Alaska Northwest Books/Graphic Arts, 2018) 278 pp., paper, $17.99, ISBN: 9781513261379. The cargo ship, Kad’yak, sank in 1860 off the coast of Kodiak and was recovered in 2003.

Audrey Sutherland, Paddling North: A Solo Adventure Along the Inside Passage (Ventura, CA: Patagonia, 2018) 304 pp., paper, $16.95, ISBN: 9781938340758. A reissue of Sutherland’s account of her first two solo summer kayaking trips along the Alaska coast.

Dan L. Walker, Letters From Happy Valley: Memories of an Alaska Homesteader’s Son (Ember Press, 2018) 240 pp., paper, $17.99, ISBN: 9780998688329. Homesteading on the Kenai peninsula in the 1950s and 60s.

Carla Williams, Wildcat Women: Narratives of Women Breaking Ground in Alaska’s Oil and Gas Industry (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2018) 272 pp., paper, $21.95, ISBN: 9781602233546. Tells the stories of fourteen women who worked for the oil and gas industry during the oil boom, fighting prejudice and stereotypes and forging lifelong friendships.