Russian Colonization of Alaska


Russian Colonization of Alaska

From Heyday to Sale, 1818–1867

444 pages
8 photographs, 2 illustrations, 4 maps. Index

eBook (PDF)
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October 2022


$70.00 Add to Cart

October 2022


$70.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2022


$70.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

In this third volume of Russian Colonization of Alaska, Andrei Val’terovich Grinëv examines the final period in the history of Russian America, from naval officers’ coming to power in the colonies (1818) to the sale of Alaska to the United States (1867). During this time, in addition to the extraction of furs, other kinds of modern production continued to develop in Alaska, including shipbuilding, cutting and mining of timber and coal, and harvesting fish and ice for export. Grinëv’s definitive volume explores how certain economic successes could not prevent the growth of crisis phenomena. Due to the low competitiveness of products and the distributive nature of the economy, the Russian colonial system could not compete with the dynamically developing Anglo-American capitalist colonization.

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. Grinëv’s study elaborates the social, political, spiritual, ideological, personal, and psychological aspects of Russian America, and 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.

Author Bio

Andrei Val’terovich Grinëv is a professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia. He has published more than two hundred articles, primarily on the history and ethnology of Russian America. Grinëv is the author of several books, including the two previous volumes in this series: Russian Colonization of Alaska: Preconditions, Discovery, and Initial Development, 1741–1799 (Nebraska, 2018) and Russian Colonization of Alaska: Baranov’s Era, 1799–1818 (Nebraska, 2020). Richard L. Bland is a research associate for the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History. In addition to this volume, he also translated the two previous volumes in this series.


"This book is a milestone in Alaska history, a rare product of deep and extensive scholarship with a critical approach that makes sense of the detail."—Rebecca Poulson, Alaska History

"The diligence and depth of Grinëv's study makes it a welcome addition to Russian America's comparatively thin historiography."—Ian Halter, Western Historical Quarterly

Praise for the previous volumes of Russian Colonization of Alaska:

“[Andrei V. Grinëv] demonstrates once again why he is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on the Russian period of Alaska’s history.”—Katherine L. Arndt, Russian Review

“This is a major contribution to the field. There has not been anything published in Russian or English (or any other language) that could compare with it in scope and theoretical sophistication.”—Sergei Kan, author of Memory Eternal: Tlingit Culture and Russian Orthodox Christianity through Two Centuries

“Essential reading for students of the history of Russian America and Alaska generally. [These books] will be a fundamental reference for years to come, as will likely be the highly anticipated third volume.”—Stephen Haycox, Alaska History

“A welcome addition to the growing body of recent literature in English on Alaska under Russian control, or ‘Russian America.’”—Chia Yin Hsu, Pacific Historical Review

“Contains much information of interest to Western scholars on the Russian approach to colonization.”—Joseph Dane Hartgrove, Journal of American History

“A stimulating, thorough, and quite readable account of the history of early Russian America.”—Dennis Reinhartz, Terrae Incognitae

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