By Stephen Haycox
Because the arrival of white settlers, Alaska has been depending on the improvement of successive ordinary assets- fur, then gold, salmon, copper, trees, and now oil. In "Frigid Embrace," Stephen Haycox explores how the force to extract usual assets has formed Alaskans' figuring out of nature and their relationships with the region's local humans. massive, wild, and distant, Alaska has lengthy been perceived because the final American frontier, the place adventurous, self-reliant settlers may possibly carve a brand new lifestyles via sweat and sheer self-discipline. in reality, besides the fact that, that Alaska is supported by means of the top in step with capita federal spending within the kingdom. And instead of escaping the consumer-oriented city tradition of mainstream the US, Alaskan settlers have replicated it at the final frontier. "Frigid embody" deals a revealing examine the social and political impression of Alaska's fiscal dependence, with chapters dedicated to milestones corresponding to the invention of the Prudhoe Bay oil box and the Exxon Valdez debacle. It offers for a large viewers a compelling account of Alaska's colonial struggles and provides a key to realizing the historic roots of present environmental controversies.
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Extra resources for Frigid Embrace: Politics, Economics, and Environment in Alaska
But in the early 1880s,Alaska’s new population surge and the potential for more mineral lode finds caught the attention of potential investors across the country. Soon new money developed additional mines in Juneau, at the deposits on the mainland side of the channel, Alaska Perseverance, Alaska-Juneau, and Ebner, among them. Together, all the various mines on both sides of the channel, clinging brashly and confidently to the steep, forested mountain slopes, constituted a remarkable industrial complex, somewhat incongruous with the largely unaltered natural landscape in which they were situated, noisy, robust, active around the clock.
A few merchants hung on in the old Russian towns of Kodiak and Unalaska. Wrangell, at the mouth of the Stikine River, had boomed some in 1872, 22 Frigid Embrace merchants there selling supplies to miners in the newly discovered Cassiar gold district far up that river in northern British Columbia. But the Cassiar rush was short lived, and by 1879 Wrangell, too, had become a shadow of its recent past. Grass grew in its few formerly busy streets, and officials lamented that the only people now attracted north were the worst sort of “adventurers,” a “God-abandoned, God-forsaken, desperate, and rascally set of wretches .
What changed Alaska was the capital poured into the region by investors and, later, corporations seeking substantial profit in natural resource exploitation and willing to support major industrial development in pursuit of that profit. Treadwell didn’t see much, but he took a chance on some lode deposits being sold by a prospector who had decided to go into the A Good American Town 23 Yupik dancer at a modern dance festival. That investment became the Treadwell Mines, which generated the economy that attracted the adventuresome north—but only to well-paying jobs.