Howard Weaver's Write Hard, Die Free is the memoir of an era—a time when Alaska struggled to define its modern personality and two fiercely competitive newspapers fought for the right to tell that story. Though populated with a dozen characters worthy of Jack London or Robert Service, the real hero of this story is the quest for honest journalism in the face of opposition from politicians, advertisers and the oil industry.
When he walked into the newsroom and fell in love with the Anchorage Daily News, Howard Weaver was an untested 21-year old cub reporter from a blue collar neighborhood on the edge of the growing city. When he left 23 years later he’d led the paper to the most unlikely David and Goliath upset in the history of American newspaper competition and helped win two Pulitzer Prizes.
He spent time with small town hoodlums and big time politicians, crossing swords with both Big Oil and Big Labor as he rose from foot soldier to field marshal in the Great Alaska Newspaper War. That struggle encompassed the defining political struggles of the era—from oil development to Native sovereignty, from parkland designations to environmental activism.
His newspaper pulled no punches then and Weaver has pulled none now in this definitive account of the fierce and often funny fight to the finish against the long-dominant Anchorage Times.