ALASKA Author:James A Michener In 1724, shortly before his death, Peter the Great appointed the Danish navigator Vitus Bering to explore the lands that lay beyond coast of the eastern coast of his empire resultng in the native Alaskans being ruled by Russia. Why is unclear but Russia was sold to the US for 7.5 million dollars. High points of the story are the gold rush, salmo... more »n industry, discovery of oil, and the Alccn highway. Emphasis is placed on more than 100 characters. Some real and some fictional making this a far more exciting story than you'd expect.