The Aleutian Islands: First Settlers: Background information when reading Glorious Misadventures

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Glorious Misadventures

Nikolai Rezanov and the Dream of a Russian America

by Owen Matthews

Glorious Misadventures
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2013, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2015, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book:
The Aleutian Islands: First Settlers

The Aleutian Islands As Glorious Misadventures shows, the vast amount of money to be made in the Aleutian Islands and western Alaska drew many adventurers and speculators, including the primary subject of the book, Nikolai Rezanov. The Aleut Region is a string of over 70 volcanic islands stretching more than 1,000 miles across the very northern part of the Pacific Ocean and forming an arc between Alaska on the east and Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula on the West (The National Parks Service has a large, clickable map). With the exception of the Commander Islands on the far western end of the chain, the territory is considered part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It was discovered by Europeans in 1741, when a Russian expedition led by Vitus Bering stumbled across the islands while seeking shelter from a storm. They found the area inhabited by an indigenous population they referred to as the Aleuts.

The environment is very harsh and stormy, with high winds, near constant fog and frequent rain (it is one of ...

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