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In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Alaska and eastern Siberia formed part of the story of Russia’s rise and expansion. To understand the history of Alaska one must know about the Russian-American Company, the trading company set up by the Russians in the late 1700’s to serve as a screen for Russian expansionist policy in the whole Pacific area. This classic work has been translated from the Russian and is published under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies.