Using unpublished archival materials, Claus-M. Naske follows Gruening from Puerto Rico to the Pacific Islands and from Alaska to Antarctica. As governor, Gruening devoted himself to the economic development of Alaska and fought discrimination against Alaska Natives. In 1958, he was elected to the U.S. Senate where he opposed the Vietnam War and earned a reputation for his liberal views on civil rights. Gruening's letters and memos reveal the challenges that he faced every day as an activist governor and senator. As a man of talent, ambition, and ego, Gruening met conflict head-on and gained the respect of Alaskans for his honesty and plain speech.
The life of Ernest Gruening is a personal account of Alaska statehood as well as a political odyssey through the twentieth century.
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