Alaska

Alaska

4.3 22
by James A. Michener
     
 

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In this sweeping epic of the northernmost American frontier, James A. Michener guides us through Alaska’s fierce terrain and history, from the long-forgotten past to the bustling present. As his characters struggle for survival, Michener weaves together the exciting high points of Alaska’s story: its brutal origins; the American acquisition; the

Overview

In this sweeping epic of the northernmost American frontier, James A. Michener guides us through Alaska’s fierce terrain and history, from the long-forgotten past to the bustling present. As his characters struggle for survival, Michener weaves together the exciting high points of Alaska’s story: its brutal origins; the American acquisition; the gold rush; the tremendous growth and exploitation of the salmon industry; the arduous construction of the Alcan Highway, undertaken to defend the territory during World War II. A spellbinding portrait of a human community fighting to establish its place in the world, Alaska traces a bold and majestic saga of the enduring spirit of a land and its people.
 
Praise for Alaska
 
“Few will escape the allure of the land and people [Michener] describes. . . . Alaska takes the reader on a journey through one of the bleakest, richest, most foreboding, and highly inviting territories in our Republic, if not the world. . . . The characters that Michener creates are bigger than life.”Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
“Always the master of exhaustive historical research, Michener tracks the settling of Alaska [in] vividly detailed scenes and well-developed characters.”Boston Herald
 
“Michener is still, sentence for sentence, writing’s fastest attention grabber.”The New York Times

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Alaska
 
“Few will escape the allure of the land and people [Michener] describes. . . . Alaska takes the reader on a journey through one of the bleakest, richest, most foreboding, and highly inviting territories in our Republic, if not the world. . . . The characters that Michener creates are bigger than life.”Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
“Always the master of exhaustive historical research, Michener tracks the settling of Alaska [in] vividly detailed scenes and well-developed characters.”Boston Herald
 
“Michener is still, sentence for sentence, writing’s fastest attention grabber.”The New York Times
Library Journal
Another told-from-the-beginning-of-time Michener saga, this one featuring Alaska. The book begins a billion years ago. Its first characters are the mastadon and the woolly mammoth, followed by such other settlers as the Eskimos, Athapaskans, and Russians. Vignettes of characters as varied as the Danish navigator Vitus Bering, who explored Alaska for Russia's Peter the Great, and Kendra Scott, the young Colorado teacher who taught the Eskimo children during the recent Prudhoe Bay oil boom, illustrate the colorful history of this vast and exploited land. Early on the book is vintage Michener, but the momentum encounters an Arctic chill midway. Final sections are trite, uneven, and overloaded with stereotypes. Too cumbersome to be called fiction, but Michener fans will demand it anyway. Joan Hinkemeyer, Englewood P.L., Col.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375761423
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/12/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
1152
Sales rank:
37,749
Product dimensions:
5.44(w) x 8.23(h) x 1.61(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

James A. Michener was one of the world’s most popular writers, the author of more than forty books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Tales of the South Pacific, the bestselling novels The Source, Hawaii, Alaska, Chesapeake, Centennial, Texas, Caribbean, and Caravans, and the memoir The World Is My Home. Michener served on the advisory council to NASA and the International Broadcast Board, which oversees the Voice of America. Among dozens of awards and honors, he received America’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1977, and an award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 1983 for his commitment to art in America. Michener died in 1997 at the age of ninety.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 3, 1907
Date of Death:
October 16, 1997
Place of Death:
Austin, Texas
Education:
B.A. in English and history (summa cum laude), Swarthmore College, 1929; A.M., University of Northern Colorado, 1937.

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Alaska 4.3 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having just returned from a two week trip to Alaska, reading Michener's novel enriched the fantastic experience I had travelling (from Seward north to Barrow) in our 49th state. His description of the school in the North Slope was right on the money, my having spent time in Barrow with a teacher from there. Overall, from page one through 1000+, I have never enjoyed reading a book more that I did Alaska.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book - if only I had read it before I visited Alaska. Even after, it provided extraordinary insights and added immeasurably to my Alaska experience. It allowed me to feel and more fully understand,especially, the ordeal of the Gold Rush. While reading, I kept thinking 'I was there! I saw that!' A beautifully told story, as well, with characters that were alive for me. As in 'Centennial,' I even had feelings for the prehistoric animals!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michener can write 1000+ pages and keep the book riveting the entire way through. His characters all have passions and dreams, they are not just drifting aimlessly through their lives. The natural scenery is also very vivid in Michener's books. Attention is also given to political, social, and ecological issues. Much to his credit, Michener does not use his book as a pulpit to spew out his own opinions. He writes as a journalist, telling things the way they are and letting the readers form their own conclusions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I told a friend of mine that my husband and I were going on a cruise to Alaska and so she suggested that "Alaska" would be a good book to read before making the trip. And she was right! Although I would have loved the book even if I were not traveling there, it really gave a wonderful history of Alaska which was so helpful while touring this part of our country. It is a wonderful book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As we prepare for a 2+ week trip to Alaska I decided it would be good to learn some things in advance. James Mitchner is a good way to do this. I have to admit that sometimes I felt as though I was plodding through parts I still came away with a better understanding of this massive, unusual land that the US was so lucky to purchase and shiuld treasure. I am by no means an expert, but will now have a better undestanding of what people will be trying to explain to me while there. I look forward to seeing all this beauty that Mitchner so well descibed.
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KODIDAK68 More than 1 year ago
Alaska, like all of Michener's books is very good and very readable but people must remember that it is fiction and not all of what he writes really happened. As I was raised in Alaska I do know my history! Enjoy it but do not take it as gospel!
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALASKA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BraveKit hobbled in. She looked around.