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When construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline created an oil boom in the late 1970s, journalist Joe McGinniss headed north to find out what if anything was left of the 'last frontier.' He discovered, as one reader put it, 'mind-bending contradictions'--greed, waste, addictions, and racism, all of which contrasted with the vast untamed natural beauty and the honest, open, and independent spirit of the people. McGinniss focused mostly on the underbelly of Alaska s boom culture. He tells a sometimes shocking, often moving story of turmoil through the perspective of a lively assortment of bush pilots, boomers, park rangers, bartenders, teachers, journalists, waitresses, politicians, Alaskan Native, and an advancing legion of outsiders looking to get rich quick. Going to Extremes is an entertaining yet historically important book that stands as a journalistic time capsule from a time three decades ago when overwhelming changes swept over Alaska.
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