When I first started my internship with the Park Service about a year ago, my supervisor gave me a stack of books to read. These were intended to give me some background knowledge about Alaska and the Park Service, and they were in a specific order in which he wanted me to read them. As it turned out I didn’t even start reading these books until a few months into the internship, and I only barely finished them by the end of it. I did, however, manage to finish all the books, and in the designated order. Having now had some time to think about them, I’d like to do a series of posts reviewing and discussing these books. I think they gave me a very good background in the issues involved in planning for public lands in Alaska, and most of them were also good general-interest books on Alaska suitable for anyone interested in this fascinating state.
I’ll devote a post to each book, but for now I’ll just list them, in the order I read them:
- Coming into the Country by John McPhee
- Wilderness in National Parks by John C. Miles
- One Man’s Wilderness by Sam Keith and Richard Proenneke
- Arctic Village by Robert Marshall
- Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez
There’s a fair amount of overlap among some of these books in their subject matter, but they approach it in very different ways, and some are much broader or narrower in overall scope than others. Collectively I think they’ve given me a pretty good start at understanding Alaska, although I recognize that there’s no way I’ll ever come close to fully understanding this enormously complicated and fascinating place. In subsequent posts in this series I’ll discuss each book in detail and explain how they relate to each other.