Icebound Empire: Industry and Politics on the Last Frontier, 1898-1938

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9781888125054: Icebound Empire: Industry and Politics on the Last Frontier, 1898-1938
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Icebound Empire is about industry and politics on the Last Frontier. It is the epic story of three men caught up in the early twentieth century battle for control of Alaska's land and resources. George Cheever Hazelet, Stephen Birch, and David Henry Jarvis were prime movers in the most ambitious early Alaska development initiative -- the Morgan-Guggenheim Alaska Syndicate. These three men convinced New York investors to provide capital to build the Kennecott copper mines and the Copper River and Northwestern Railway, but opposition from political opportunists, Eastern conservationists and muckraking journalists stifled further industrial development on the last frontier.

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About the Author:

Dr. Elizabeth Tower traveled in the Aleutian Islands as a physician with the Alaska Division of Public Health for the better part of two decades. Since her retirement from medicine she has written about Alaska history including several biographies and prize winning articles in Alaska History. Dr. Tower was named Historian of the Year by the Alaska State Historical Society for her book, Icebound Empire.

Review:

"A fascinating tale of the intersection of politics, railway wars, adventurism and entrepreneurism on the last great American frontier. The book focuses on the lives and work of three of the most influential men in developing Alaska in the late 1800s and early 1900s: George Cheever Hazelet, David Henry Jarvis, and Stephen Birch. Each played a leading role in the most ambitious early industrial development schemes in Alaska, and each was ultimately implicated in a dramatic and historically-pivotal shootout that took place in Keystone Canyon, near Valdez. Over one hundred illustrations, political cartoons, and newspaper headlines bring the story to life and transport the reader back in time to what is perhaps the most exciting period of Alaska history. This is a well-written and impeccably researched work. It will appeal to the casual reader and the historian alike. It is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in Alaskan history." -Kevin T., Amazon.com "Alaska may be the most physically impressive State in the union, and its rugged beauty and idiosyncratic people have inspired some of the greatest American narrative nonfiction and fictionalized books. From Jack London, John Muir and Robert Service in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to John McPhee, Jon Krakauer and Jonathan Raban at the end of the 20th century, writers go north to Alaska to chronicle tough, flawed people crashing against primeval nature....Icebound Empire is an interesting mix of the two styles. Like the latter works, it focuses on individual personalities, drawing from primary sources. However the author's concern is not with the fate of individuals, but with how they interacted with political forces to shape Alaska during the late District and early Territorial periods....This book's blend of history and personality, focusing on characters with deep Alaskan roots who rose high enough to be bit players in national politics, offers insight into the period, and also into Alaska's chronic problems in dealing with the lower 48. It's entertaining as well, and well written. I recommend this book both to people interested in Alaska history and people interested in Alaska people." -Aaron C. Brown [1000 Top Reviewer] Amazon.com

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