By Walter R. Borneman
The historical past of Alaska is stuffed with tales of recent land and new riches -- and ever current are new individuals with competing perspectives over how those assets may be used: Russians exploiting a fur empire; explorers checking rival advances; prospectors stampeding to the clarion name of "Gold!"; infantrymen struggling with out a decisive bankruptcy in international battle; oil wildcatters trying to find a special form of mineral wealth; and continually on the middle of those disputes is the query of the way the land is for use and by means of whom.Major issues contain Alaska Natives, exploration and climbing, mining rushes, railroads and aviation, army operations, and the clash pitting conservation opposed to improvement, with a focus at the present debate over oil drilling in ANWR.Some wish Alaska to stay static, others are within the forefront of swap. Alaska: Saga of a daring Land indicates that there are not any effortless solutions on both sides and that Alaska will regularly be crossing the subsequent frontier.
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Additional info for Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land--From Russian Fur Traders to the Gold Rush, Extraordinary Railroads, World War II, the Oil Boom, and the Fight Over ANWR
While the men hunted, the women were busy sewing, weaving, and cooking. Aleut basketry made from the fine grasses found on the islands is among the best in the world, and long before GoreTex, the Aleuts were constructing waterproof boots and garments. Almost everything had a utilitarian function. The long hats and visors of the Aleut culture not only kept the frequent rain from one’s face but also protected the hunter’s eyes and reduced the glare of the seas. Sea otter furs were widely worn. The few extravagances were ceremonial cloaks adorned with the bright feathers of tufted puffins.
Frequently, historical references give no greater detail than this generalization, and it is difficult to place a historical reference to “Indians” accurately into current terminology. Native American has become the politically correct term in the United States, but technically it does not distinguish between true Native peoples and those of any race who are “native” just because they were born in the United States. Native peoples is the more internationally accepted term. 8 That said, it seems overly simplistic to say that there are four major cultural areas of Alaska Natives: Aleuts throughout the Aleutians; Inupiat and Yup’ik Eskimos along the Arctic coast; Athabascans in the interior; and the Tlingit and Haida of the southeast coast.
3 East of the Wrangells, the St. Elias Mountains arc southeastward from the vicinity of Chitistone and Skolai Passes to the waters of Glacier Bay. Denali is indeed taller, but no area in North America matches the St. Elias Mountains in any other category. It is the largest and highest concentration of snow-covered mountains in North America. The complexity and enormity of the range was best described by geologist Israel Cook Russell after an 1891 attempt to climb Mount St. Elias. Russell viewed the country to the north for the first time and wrote: I expected to see a comparatively low, wooded country stretching away to the north, with lakes and rivers and perhaps some signs of human habitation, but I was entirely mistaken.