University of Alaska PRESS

Book Detail

Book Cover

History of the Central Brooks Range

Gaunt Beauty, Tenuous Life

by Brown, William

7 x 9, 232 pages, over 150 historical maps and photos, index

Format: paper

Price: $24.95


This comprehensive study of historic resources uses rare primary sources to provide a history of the Koyukuk region. History of the Central Brooks Range provides a chronological examination of the region, including anthropological region descriptions of Native groups that make the Central Brooks Range and its surroundings their home.

The history of early exploration, mining, and the Klondike overflow into the Brooks Range exposes readers to the challenges of the Koyukuk region and the rich cultural heritage that still exists today. The integration of cultures during the exploration and mining years shows the versatility and adaptability of the peoples of central Brooks Range.

William E. Brown provides a fascinating history of early exploration, relying almost exclusively on primary sources. His unique interpretation of these sources reveals the extraordinary ways of survival in a rugged northern land. Supplemented with detailed descriptions by Robert Marshall, History of the Central Brooks Range is further enhanced with beautiful illustrations from early exploration to the creation of the Gates of Arctic National Park.

William E. Brown served as historian for the National Park Service Southwest Region for ten years before he came to Alaska in 1975. As a member of the NPS task force that studied national park proposals for congressional action in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, he served as key man on the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve proposal. He worked as adjunct history professor for University of Alaska's Arctic Environmental Information and Data Center, doing socioeconomic and cultural-landscape studies for the North Slope Borough. Returning to the NPS, he served as historian for the new NPS Alaska Region and then concluded his career as park historian at Gates of Arctic National Park and Denali National Park. He is now retired in Gustavus, Alaska.

Back to Top