On August 29th, the High Country Writers Association will be featuring political aide and writer, David Ramseur, author of Melting the Ice Curtain: The Extraordinary Story of Citizen Diplomacy on the Russia-Alaska Frontier, as well as decades of reporting on Russian-Alaskan cultural intertwining. Ramseur serves as the Chairman for the Anchorage World Affairs Council, and beginning in 1986, worked as press secretary, communications director, chief of staff, and foreign policy advisor to Alaskan Governors Steve Cowper and Tony Knowles, as well as the Mayor of Anchorage Mark Begich.
Melting the Ice Curtain covers the history of Alaskan-Russian relations, beginning with the official signing of Alaska into a U.S. state from Tsarist Russia, to the modern-day impacts and role of the United States in the Arctic world as we know it. Some of this history includes that of the development of the border along the Bering Strait, and a complicated series of ups and downs during the years of the Cold War. The “Ice Curtain,” itself, was a set of restrictions imposed by the Soviet Union which banned free movement among Eskimo and native peoples from Alaska to regions like Siberia in 1947. Ramseur tells the story of Alaska’s Pre-Cold War success as well as its socioeconomic journey to find a way back to prosperity before the Cold War ended years of constant business and cultural interaction between the two nations.
Regular meetings for the High Country Writers Association are at the Watauga County Public Library on the second and fourth Thursdays of most months from ten until noon and speakers’ presentations are co-sponsored with the Library. HCW members present writing skills workshops the first Thursday of the month and have recently partnered with the Watauga County Arts Council in hosting these workshops. For more information and a current calendar, visit the website: http://www.highcountrywriters.org. Visiting guests are welcome.