This selection of books explores the history and surroundings of Juneau, Alaska's capital city.
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Bear Man of Admiralty Island is the life story of a ragged loner and self-taught naturalist who came to southeastern Alaska in 1901 to seek his fortune in the awe-inspiring wilderness but found his destiny instead. In the process, this sturdy Midwesterner learned the skills of a prospector, fisherman, trapper, guide, boatbuilder, and homesteader. At all these things he eventually excelled, but his greatest fame came from his greatest skill: he was a peerless bear hunter. He joined several natural history expeditions and worked for about ten years as a specimen collector and guide. He later guided sportsmen and photographers interested in southeastern's wildlife and majestic natural beauty. As his respect for the great brown bears increased, he lost his interest in killing them, and his experiences inspired conservationists who lobbied to protect Admiralty Island from logging. Hasselborg's keen wit, fierce independence, and eccentric ways attracted much attention during his lifetime. He was an extraordinary man who was in some ways a perfectly ordinary Alaskan of his time, and author Howe reflects on both sides of that character in a balanced, detailed way.
With a body twisted by adolescent scoliosis and memories of the brutal death of a woman he loved, Lynn Schooler kept the world at arm's length, drifting through the wilds of Alaska as a commercial fisherman, outdoorsman, and wilderness guide. In 1990, Schooler met Japanese photographer Michio Hoshino, and began a profound friendship cemented by a shared love of adventure and a passionate quest to find the elusive glacier bear, an exceedingly rare creature, seldom seen and shrouded in legend. But only after Hoshino's tragic death from a bear attack does Schooler succeed in photographing the animal -- completing a remarkable journey that ultimately brings new meaning to his life. "The Blue Bear is an unforgettable book. Set amid the wild archipelagoes, deep glittering fjords, and dense primordial forests of Alaska's Glacier Coast, it is rich with the lyric sensibility and stunning prose of such nature classics as Barry Lopez's "Arctic Dreams and Peter Matthiessen's "The Snow Leopard.
The Inside Passage from Puget Sound to Alaska is turbulent and deep: an ancient, thousand-mile-long sea route rich in dangerous whirlpools, eddies, rips and races. Here flourished the canoe culture of the Northwest Indians, with their fantastic masks and painted boxes and their stories of malign submarine gods and monsters. Here in 1972, came the unhappy British ship Discovery, captained by George Vancouver. The early explorers were quickly followed by fur traders, settlers, missionaries, anthropologists, fishermen, and tourists, each with their own designs on this intricate and haunted sea.