From what I know, Hickel actually wrote the book himself.
I discussed it at length with him aboard his boat, the Ermalee, back in the summer of 1978, as he was preparing his outsider's run against Jay Hammond. That run cost my Whittier harbor expansion plan two years. Right after Jay's narrow victory, when possible capital funds for Whittier improvements came up, Hammond told the commissioner of DOT/PF, "Damned if a single dime is going to Wally's playground!"
I recommend Gov. Hickel's book. It is certainly one of the 10 best written by an Alaska politician. The competition isn't exactly fierce, though. It was fairly well received when it came out. This is from Time Magazine's review from 1972:
Who owns America?
Hickel says that Americans do, but they do not realize it. They must cultivate a feeling of ownership for every public property, whether it be a city park, the Potomac River or the Grand Tetons. The problem is the feeling that anything that belongs to everyone belongs to no one. Hickel's answer is that ultimately it is the Federal Government that has to assume the responsibility.
Says Hickel: "The Federal Government has to care. It has an obligation of ownership to more than 200 million Americans. A perfect example of not owning and not caring is the whale. No one owns the ocean, so everyone goes out to exploit the whale. The same thing is true of public lands." Moreover, to feel ownership, Americans need leadership.
Americans do need leadership. I'm more satisfied that we have that now than I was six months ago.
Current Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, hopes to convince Americans that she is the solution to problems people other than me see as being presented by President Obama.
Wally Hickel wrote his book between government jobs. Palin hopes to write hers while serving as governor. As one who has been critical - at least since September 2008 - of her job performance in that position, I have my doubts about her ability to do one job let alone two.
No doubt, once again, her kids will suffer the most as she, once again, performs her version of family needs triage.
Whether or not it is statutorily appropriate for her to write the proposed book while serving as governor will probably be the subject of another executive branch ethics complaint. I'm not going to file it. Only a fool would file the complaint without being able to take a look at the contract Palin has signed with the publisher.
I've been a strong proponent of rewriting our Alaska executive ethics code since last fall. Every day I'm feeling more strongly that this needs to happen. I tried to get Democratic Party legislators to do it last session, but nobody was interested.
Maybe next session.
Back in November 2008, when the first rumors of a Palin memoir deal surfaced, I wrote a DailyKos diary, called, What Can We Title Sarah Palin's Book? Almost 200 book title suggestions came in then. Since November, she's certainly given us more opportunities for a title.
Progressive Alaska has posted a poll:
Should Alaska's Governor Be Able to Sign a Contract to Write a Book While in Office?