Book: Aurora's Sentinel - Conflict and Diplomacy on an Arctic Frontier from Russian America to the Present by Jonathan M. Nielsoncategories: Book, History, Military, WWII, Naval, Air Power, Alaska
Jonathan Macauley Nielsonabout this book: This is a sweeping narrative history of the evolution of Alaska from Tsarist colonial outpost to its place today in the forefront of America's strategic calculus for defending the continent. American acquisition of Russian America in 1867 was dramatic confirmation that the United States intended to be a continental and Pacific power. As America's first non-contiguous territorial acquisition, the 'Great Land' struggled under colonial administration by the Army, Navy and Revenue Marine Service until Gold Rush frenzy beginning with the Klondike and then Nome, began the territory's gradual progress towards statehood in 1959. From WWI, through WWII,the Cold War until the present, Alaska's strategic importance grew dramatically. Now with the new Arctic frontier posing new challenges, Alaska and polar regions are destined to remain on the front lines on international diplomacy, natural resource competition, military tension and vital national interest.
Aurora's Sentinel represents eight years of research and writing. It is a revision and new edition of my 1985 book 'Soldiers on a Northern Frontier.' Having lived and taught in Alaska for twenty years, I gained a reverence and fascination for the state, its unsurpassed natural beauty, its people and its history. It was clear that the military has always been a critical element in nearly every aspect of Alaska's history and development and far more so than for most other states because of its unique geographic location. The book's title seemed entirely fitting given the prevalence of the 'northern lights' phenomena and the role Alaska plays in national defense. Research on a book of this magnitude and complexity is demanding and time consuming but absolutely necessary for scholars and the general reader interested in exploring the rich literature on the international ambitions of Russia, Spain, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, and the United States in the North Pacific and beyond.
I hope readers will find in Aurora's Sentinel a compelling story and exploration of a fascinating human drama played out over vast distances in a forbidding yet beautiful landscape and unique human and natural environment.
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Other books by Jonathan Macauley Nielson
• Book Review: 1814 - The Year the United States Lost its Independence by Jonathan M. Nielson|
• Book Review: The Scramble for the Arctic - Ownership, Exploitation and Conflict in the Far North by Richard Sale, ...|
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