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Alaska Images of the Country Hardcover – June 12, 1982

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Hardcover, June 12, 1982
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First published in 1981 and now available in this distinctive edition, a compelling portrait of modern Alaska pairs excerpts from John McPhee's classic "Coming into the Country" with photojournalist Galen Rowell's breathtaking images of the lands and peo

About the Author

Galen Rowell (1940-2002) was one of the world's most celebrated nature photographers. His many books include Bay Area Wild, Mountain Light, My Tibet (with H.H. The Dalai Lama), and Galen Rowell's Vision. He lives in Bishop, California. John McPhee is the best-selling author of more than twenty books, including Basin and Range and Giving Good Weight. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books; Reissue edition (June 12, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871562901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871562906
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.6 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Conrad J. Obregon VINE VOICE on June 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Galen Rowell was one of the great outdoor photographers and most of his books are full of spectacular pictures of mountain scenery. But if you are expecting a normal picture book about Alaska, this isn't it. Instead this is a look at a place that is full of ambiguity.
The book is structured around John McPhee's book "Coming into the Country". In that book McPhee gives an insightful description of Alaska as a place, and its inhabitants. The Alaskans seem torn between preserving the wilderness and developing it and the extracts contained in this volume capture that spirit. For example, McPhee provides admiring character studies of a number of people who came to Alaska because they just didn't fit in back in the lower 48 states. Even his descriptions of travels in the wilderness have an overlay of the politics of the state, where the federal government, which once owned most of the land, is distrusted by most citizens.
Rowell decided that he wanted to take McPhee's writing and illustrate it with his own pictures. The preface makes clear that McPhee didn't offer a lot of cooperation. In fact he warned Rowell not to overprint his verbal pictures with Rowell's. The text selection was made by Rowell and the pictures included are not directly related to the words but have a close connection to their spirit.
As I noted, this is not any ordinary Rowell book (if there is such a thing). There are far more pictures of human beings and their artifacts then one usually finds in such a book, and I sometimes felt that the pictures were gritty and dark. At first I thought that this was a shortcoming of the photographs but then I realized that Rowell had specifically selected these pictures because he believed that they reflected the spirit of McPhee's words.
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Format: Hardcover
"Alaska" is one of those books that, after teh first few pages lets you forget the world around you and fly to other places. His pictures are breathtaking, and it is true : a picture sas more than a thousand words; rowell manages it to tell you more about Alaska with a couple of photographs than 100 professors could tell you. He shows the reader that there is still some pure wilderness out there and that it is worth to preserve it. rowell is someone who loves the wilderness and the beauty of nature and he makes you love it too.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I became a fan of Galen Rowell's photography after I read his wife's wonderful book, Flying South (by Barbara Cushman Rowell). Beautiful images of a beautiful country that is perhaps too brief and narrow in its selection of subjects.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a very interesting book and Galen Rowell takes some great shots. Alaska looks very picturesque and would like to go there one day.
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