An American ColonyBook - 2002
Alaska has not evolved in a vacuum. It has been part of larger stories: the movement of Native peoples and their contact and accommodation to Western culture, the spread of European political economy to the New World, and the expansion of American capitalism and culture.
Alaska, an American Colony focuses on Russian America and American Alaska, bringing the story ofAlaska up to the present and exploring the continuing impact of Alaska Native claims settlements, the trans-Alaska pipeline, and the Alaska Lands Act. In contrast to the stereotype ofAlaska as a place where rugged individualists triumph over the harsh environment, distinguished historian Stephen Haycox offers a less romantic, more complex history that emphasizes the broader national and international contexts ofAlaska’s past and the similarities between Alaska and the American West. Covering cultural, political, economic, and environmental history, the book also includes an overview of the region’s geography and the anthropology ofAlaska’s Native peoples.
Throughout Alaska, an American Colony, Haycox stresses the continuing involvement ofAlaska Natives in the state’s economic, political, and social life and development. He also explores the power of myth in historical representations ofAlaska and the controlling influence of national perceptions of the region.
Arguing that the common theme that links the Russian and American eras of Alaskan history is colonialism, Haycox (history, U. of Alaska Anchorage) presents a narrative history of post-European-contact Alaska. Colonialism has meant a lack of economic self-sufficiency that created a diminishing capability of Native people to maintain their culture and self-determination and an inability of non-Native populations to make their own political and economic judgments over the objectives of absentee investors. Another major theme running through the narrative is the impact of outside cultures on the development of Alaskan society. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)