Customer Reviews for

Fifty Miles from Tomorrow: A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted February 1, 2009

    Pieces of the Alaska I remember...

    Alaska born and raised, FIFTY MILES FROM TOMORROW brings back images of the Alaska I remember as a child growing up in Fairbanks in the sixties. My mother was raised in Kotzbue, the daughter of a Russian Trader (her mother, my grand mother) was the married to Boris Magid's (Willie Hensley's biological father's) older brother, before she was married to my grandfather. <BR/><BR/>Reading Willie Hensley's book FIFTY MILES FROM TOMORROW, I could smell the open pot coffee brewing on the stove, and conjure up pictures of the foamy grounds as I dumped in the cup of cold water and stirred. I could hear the conversations of oldtimers discussing their hunting stories and sightings of wolves, bears, and moose around the neighborhood. Then there were the short bright cold winter days and luxuriously long summer days. I have never tasted blueberries as good as those growing wild in the boggy moss in the woods around my childhood home. I will always treasure my memories of enjoying the quiet and clever humor of Inupiut aquaintences by the light of a coleman lantern.<BR/><BR/>FIFT MILES FROM TOMORROW not only conjures up images that are pure and delightful Alaska, it also gives an insider story of the struggles of an emerging nation, that of the Inupiut people. Being able to adapt to life when bombarded with change, and still maintain a purity of culture is a significant challenge. Willie Hensley is kind enough to open a window to his soul and let us take a peak at what it cost to take on that challenge. <BR/><BR/>Congratulations Willie, well done.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2009

    Fifty Miles from Tomorrow

    Mr. Hensley has accomplished such wonderful tasks for the Inupiaq people and is a great example for all of us. Most of all it is amazing to me that after all what he has endured and accomplished, he still felt that something more had to be done for his people; to lift their spirits up and remind us of who we are. In the last three chapters of the book, is exactly what we all need to remember as Native Americans especially. We still can continue on in this world even though sometimes we feel like we live in two worlds. Reading the last three chapters will definitely inspire all of us.
    Even though you have come from a humble beginnings, as many of us, you have set a great example. You truely have "Inupiat Ilitqusiat." Can't began to say enough of your book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A slow start, but powerful message

    I am so glad our book club chose to read this book. I had great difficulty getting into it as the personal narrative of his upbringing among the I&#241;upiak people was not that engaging, But by the end of the book, Mr. Hensley uses this simple beginning for a powerful theme to close the book. When I finally reached the section where the political action began, I totally became engrossed with the challenge of the people in keeping their land and the realization Mr. Hensley had that what had happened to the indigenous people in the lower 48 and their loss of land and culture would happen in Alaska unless they united for action. It is to Mr. Hensley's considerable honor that he worked so hard to do so. The book is compelling and something I had heard nothing of in any discussion of Alaskan statehood. Very thought provoking indeed.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    This author gives a real insight into what growing up Native in Alaska is all about

    I felt the book was well written. It kept my attention from the time I opened it until I finished it. I found the book so interesting I didn't want to put it down. Anyone with a love of Alaska and a desire to explore and understand what it was like growing up Native in the bush, will find this book a compelling read.

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    Posted July 3, 2011

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    Posted April 20, 2009

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    Posted September 15, 2010

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