We Live in Alaska, by Constance Helmericks Originally published in 1944, We Live in Alaska is the first book by acclaimed author, Constance Helmericks. At twenty-four, Connie and her young husband, Harmon “Bud” Helmericks, set off from Fairbanks, Alaska in a homemade canoe. Paddling down the Tanana and into the great Yukon River, they leave…

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Ed McLauren has fought his whole life: to build the Lazy Ear ranch, to pass responsible range management legislation, and to expose the unscrupulous and greedy developers who seek to rob the N’Chi-lix-czin of their birthright. In Fireweed (286 pages), Ed perseveres to speaks out in favor of controlled brush-burning to unwilling ears, while discomfited…

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James J. Hill (158 pages), the “Empire Builder,” (1838-1916) was a Canadian-American railroad executive with the Great Northern Railway, responsible for building railways across the northern US. Part visionary, part robber baron, part buccaneer, Stewart Holbrook brings his story to life, in brief, as well as the lives of the other movers and shakers in…

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In 1946, Clair Fejes moved from New York City, where she had been exhibiting in the A.C.A. Gallery, to Fairbanks, Alaska. She ultimately became an artist in a pioneering community, and traveled to a Noatak hunting camp on the edge of the Kotzebue Sound, where she was irrevocably inspired by the people and landscape of…

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Young Claire Fejes was a promising sculptor and painter in New York City in 1946, when her husband gave in to “gold fever”. She held the unconventional view that her career was as important as his. But in those days, a woman followed her husband, so Claire did – to Fairbanks, last stop on the…

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Dreaming Bears (208 pages) is the true story of the rare friendship that develops between a young medical student with deep roots in the South and an elderly Indian couple in the wilds of northeast Alaska. In 1961, Mike Holloway, his brother Ted, and a college friend set out from South Carolina to spend the…

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Howard Weaver advanced from foot soldier to field marshal in the Alaska Newspaper War, but he never left the fight. He spent time with small-town hoodlums and big-time politicians, crossed swords with Big Oil and Big Labor, and edited the Anchorage Daily News to the most unlikely David and Goliath upset in American journalism history and helped…

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The blazing marquee of the plush Astor Theater in New York City billed the 1933 premier of “Eskimo” as “THE BIGGEST PICTURE EVER MADE,” propelling an 27-year-old Inupiat Eskimo from Candle, Alaska, to overnight stardom. The handsome actor was not only the first Alaskan to become a Hollywood movie star but also the first non-white…

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This is the fourth edition of Going to Extremes (306 pages) a work that always has been controversial in Alaska. Yet, it is an important and highly readable classic work that captures a portrait frozen in time of a raw state in turmoil during the oil boom. McGinnis went north to find out if there…

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Barbara Washburn never set out to become a mountaineering pioneer, but she wasn’t content to be a stay-at-home wife, either. In 1947, defying social convention, Washburn became the first woman to climb Alaska’s Mt. McKinley. Accidental Adventures (192 pages) chronicles her journeys with her husband, Bradford Washburn, on other expeditions to Alaska, the Grand Canyon,…

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