– Jack Magnus

reader's favorite five star badgeAunt Phil’s Trunk: Volume Two continues the Bringing Alaska’s History Alive Series written by Phyllis Downing Carlson and her niece, Laurel Downing Bill. This volume covers much of the exploration and resource development that took place in Alaska during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It expands the first volume’s discussion of the fur trade and the gold rush, and the rise of Alaska’s cities to accommodate them, into an exploration of the development of Alaska’s other natural resources: coal, copper, timber and even rubies. Fans of Western folklore and the gunfights at the OK Corral will enjoy Carlson and Bill’s coverage of Wyatt Earp and the development of Alaska’s law enforcement and judicial system. Throughout the work, the reader will find dozens of photographs, making each step in this pictorial history come alive.

History, geography, true tales of adventure, obsession, action and adventure — Aunt Phil’s Trunk: Volume Two of the Bringing Alaska’s History Alive Series has it all. Author Laurel Downing Bill had me spellbound as I read the stories and studied the maps and experienced vicariously the hardships and the excitement of exploration through the incredible pictures that accompany the text. My favorite sections cover the establishment of the reindeer herds, the development of the Iditarod Trail and the early mountaineering efforts to summit Mount St. Elias and Denali, but I’d be hard pressed to name a section of Aunt Phil’s Trunk: Volume Two that didn’t make me want to read more and share a few of the really good bits with my friends. Bill and Carlson really do bring Alaska’s History alive in Aunt Phil’s Trunk: Volume Two and it’s a joy to experience. Aunt Phil’s Trunk: Volume Two of the Bringing Alaska’s History Alive Series is highly recommended.

Book 2 is everything I thought it would be, based on book 1, and a little more. An excellent read!