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Throughout his career, Wally Hickel confounded friend and foe alike because he defied the easy stereotypes of "environmentalist" and "businessman." He was convinced he'd discovered a novel philosophy - inspired by the history of Alaska, and centered around the concept of "the commons" - that could show us how to balance development with preservation, satisfy our need for energy, and, he believed, even overcome poverty itself. Fired from his Secretary of Interior post by President Nixon for his public opposition to the Vietnam War - his letter to the President was front page news in 1970 - he returned to his beloved Alaska. He kept building, won another term as Alaska Governor, and travelled the world to advance his bold, hopeful vision of developing the Arctic and sharing the Earth's riches in a way that would benefit all of its citizens. The story is told with energy, candor, and the irreverent sense of humor for which this eminently quotable politician has always been known.

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