Alaska Far Away: The New Deal Pioneers of the Matanuska Colony

 
9780802611239: Alaska Far Away: The New Deal Pioneers of the Matanuska Colony
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In the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal gave 202 destitute Midwestern farm families a chance to start over - in Alaska. Alaska Far Away tells the story of this bold government program, and the families who suddenly found themselves thrust into the national spotlight. The Matanuska Colonization Project of 1935 was designed to help farmers who had been crushed by the Great Depression. No one anticipated the whirlwind of publicity and controversy it would create at the time, not only as an expensive federally-funded social experiment, but also as one of the last pioneer movements in America. Filmmakers Paul Hill and Joan Juster interviewed more than 140 of these New Deal pioneers, creating a priceless oral history archive. Woven into a compelling story, and enriched by a wealth of rare archival footage, photographs, diaries and news stories, they bring this historical event to life for today's audience. Alaska Far Away encompasses the despair of the Depression, the creative energy of the New Deal, the adventure of pioneering in Alaska, and the best and worst of our government and ordinary citizens in facing extraordinary challenges. Alaska Far Away offers a very personal look at the profound effect that New Deal policies had on the lives of American families. Theirs is a story of enormous struggle, determination, courage and hope.

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