An American Colony
- PUBLISHED: March 2020
- SUBJECT LISTING: Pacific Northwest / History, History / American History
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 424 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 39 b&w illus., 2 maps, 1 chart
- ISBN: 9780295746852
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.
Authors & Contributors
Stephen Haycox is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of history at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is author of Frigid Embrace: Politics, Economics, and Environment in Alaska and Battleground Alaska: Fighting Federal Power in America’s Last Wilderness and coeditor of An Alaska Anthology: Interpreting the Past.
Deeply and methodically researched, carefully and accurately presented, Haycox’s argument is clear: Alaska’s people have been relatively powerless to determine their future, despite being the ones who best know Alaska. As debate continues over the exploitation of Alaska’s remaining oilfields, this is a point of view that must be heard.- Booklist
Interspersed with the concise direct narrative are illuminating insights into the role of outside forces on Alaska and the failure of all attempts to make this area self-sufficient within the contemporary economy.- Choice
By far the finest history of Alaska yet produced.- Wallace M. Olson, professor of anthropology, emeritus, University of Alaska