Reviews of Books and Other Media

What are the outstanding works of history, art, science and literature pertinent to rural Alaska, and who are the agencies, companies, and individuals producing them?



Civil Rights Heroine: Review of Fighter in Velvet Gloves by Annie Boochever with Roy Peratrovich Jr.

Elizabeth Peratrovich’s history-making speech before the Alaska Senate in 1945 persuaded passage of America’s first state anti-discrimination act, nearly 20 years prior to Title VII of the US Civil Rights Act. Boochever’s concise, sensitively written, historical teen non-fiction book Fighter in Velvet Gloves conveys Peratrovich’s positive can-do life attitude . . .

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Review of One Water: dispatches from the streets and backcountry of Interior Alaska by Rob McCue

Rob McCue’s One Water is a refreshingly interior account, not only because the first person narrator reports from inside the action—often the interior of the city cab he drives in half the stories—but also in the sense of “interior” Alaska, with Fairbanks as its hub and “big village.” Even his backcountry adventures take place along Tanana or Yukon tributaries or the great mountains that give rise to these. It’s a feisty guy narrative from the underserved center of the state that quickly surprises you with its inclusiveness. You never know who is going to get in the cab with McCue.

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Alaska Native Anthropology: Review of Menadelook, edited by Eileen Norbert

Compiled and edited by granddaughter Eileen Norbert, Menadelook: An Inupiat Teacher’s Photographs of Alaska Village Life, 1907-1932 maps the transition of culture in the early 20th century of a man who bridged two worlds in the early 20th century. Norbert succeeds in demonstrating the importance of self-representation of indigenous culture in anthropology.

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