2 tables, 1 map, 4 illustrations, 3 photographs, index
In Russian Colonization of Alaska, Andrei Val’terovich Grinëv examines the sociohistorical origins of the former Russian colonies in Alaska, or “Russian America,” between 1741 and 1799. Beginning with the Second Kamchatka Expedition of Vitus Ivanovich Bering and Aleksei Ilyich Chirikov’s discovery of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands and ending with the formation of the Russian-American Company’s monopoly of the Russian colonial endeavor in the Americas, Russian Colonization of Alaska offers a definitive, revisionist examination of Tsarist Russia’s foray into the imperial contest in North America.
Russian Colonization of Alaska is the first comprehensive study to analyze the origin and evolution of Russian colonization based on research into political economy, history, and ethnography. Grinёv’s study elaborates the social, political, spiritual, ideological, personal, and psychological aspects of Russian America. He also accounts for the idiosyncrasies of the natural environment, competition from other North American empires, Alaska Natives, and individual colonial diplomats. The colonization of Alaska, rather than being simply a continuation of the colonization of Siberia by Russians, was instead part of overarching Russian and global history.