Why Russia decided to sell Alaska to us. . . why we decided to buy it. . . the tortuous negotiations that led to the final deal. . . and how the American public eventually became reconciled to paying 7(apple) million for Seward's icebox. Sgroi's bland reportorial prose won't inspire anything more than academic interest, but his summary of the private finagling, public debate, and the opinions of later historians will give students a head start. Utilitarian.