Alaska often looms large as a remote, wild place with endless resources and endlessly independent, resourceful people. Yet it has always been part of larger stories: the movement of Indigenous peoples from Asia into the Americas and their contact with and accommodation to Western culture; the spread of European political economy to the New World; the expansion of American capitalism and culture; and the impacts of climate change.
In this updated classic, distinguished historian Stephen Haycox surveys the state's cultural, political, economic, and environmental past, examining its contemporary landscape and setting the region in a broader, global context. Tracing Alaska's transformation from the early postcontact period through the modern era, Haycox explores the ever-evolving relationship between Native Alaskans and the settlers and institutions that have dominated the area, highlighting Native agency, advocacy, and resilience. Throughout, he emphasizes the region's systemic dependence on both federal support and outside corporate investment in natural resources—furs, gold, copper, salmon, oil—and offers a less romantic, more complex history that acknowledges the broader national and international contexts of Alaska's past.
Stephen W. Haycox