A new, publicly available aeromagnetic data compilation spanning Alaska enables analysis of the regional crustal character of this tectonically diverse and poorly understood part of the North American Cordillera. The merged data were upward-continued by 10 km (mathematically smoothed without assumptions about sources) to enhance crustal-scale magnetic features and facilitate tectonic analysis. This analysis reveals a basic threefold magnetic character: (1) a southern region with arcuate magnetic domains closely tied to tectonostratigraphic elements, (2) a magnetically neutral interior region punctuated locally by intermediate and deep magnetic highs representing a complex history, and (3) a magnetically subdued northern region that includes a large deep magnetic high. Our tectonic view of the data supports interpretations that Paleozoic extension and continental rift basins played a significant role in the tectonic development of northern and interior Alaska. Accretion of oceanic and continental margin terranes could be restricted to the southern region. The new magnetic view of Alaska can be compared and contrasted with other Pacific margin regions where convergent margin and accretionary tectonic processes are important.