Synopses & Reviews
Long at the margins of global affairs and at the edge of our mental map of the world, the Arctic has found its way to the center of the issues which will challenge and define our world in the twenty-first century: energy security and the struggle for natural resources, climate change and its uncertain speed and consequences, the return of great power competition, the remaking of global trade patterns
In The Future History of the Arctic, geopolitics expert Charles Emmerson weaves together the history of the region with reportage and reflection, revealing a vast and complex area of the globe, loaded with opportunity and rich in challenges. He defines the forces which have shaped the Arctics history and introduces the players in politics, business, science and society who are struggling to mold its future.
The Arctic is coming of age. This engrossing book tells the story of how that is happening and how it might happenthrough the stories of those who live there, those who study it, and those who will determine its destiny.
“As the Arctic thaws, nations around the globe are jockeying for access to its mineral resources and potentially lucrative new shipping routes. With considerable on-site reporting, Emmerson surveys the environmental and geopolitical changes under way.”
“Charles Emmerson’s The Future History of the Arctic has the strongest narrative of the three [books on the Arctic] because his is most firmly grounded in a knowledge of the region’s past.”
E, the Environmental magazine
“This new vision of the Arctic, as a site of exploitation and source of political conflict, is chilling indeed.”
“Charles Emmerson has written a superb book, which seamlessly intertwines travelogue, history and jargon-free analysis… The Future History of the Arctic is as reviving as a blast of polar air, bringing the Arctic into wonderfully clear focus; one of the most impressive accounts of the contemporary Arctic I’ve read.”
The Financial Times“Emmerson marshals a wealth of disparate material to sketch a region in transition… This is an excellent primer to the economic issues of a region so recently and rudely thrust into the geopolitical limelight.”
Winnipeg Free Press“Emmerson's book is very well researched and certainly educates the reader on the cold, long-ignored region to the north. Its premise that the Arctic will soon be a global hotspot comes through loud and clear.”
Seattle Times“Thought-provoking… Will science, stewardship and cooperation win out over self-serving politics and economic demands? [Emmerson] warns, ‘We can no longer deal with the Arctic as we would wish it to be — in the future, we will have to deal with the Arctic as it is.’ His book provides a good primer for understanding that future.”
The Scotsman“It’s easy to romanticise the Arctic, and over the years plenty of authors have. Oddly though, given the region's increasing geopolitical significance, it's rare to find books that treat it as something other than a chilly adventure playground or an excuse for reams of purple prose. Thank goodness, then, for Charles Emmerson. In this book he looks at how the frozen north has played a key role in world affairs in the past and how it could prove more important in the years to come.”
Irish Times“Definitive yet highly readable, this book will be an absorbing read for anyone with an interest in geopolitics and world affairs.”
Irish Examiner“This book makes it clear that in the immediate future, as well as being an environmental barometer for the planet, the Arctic could also be a source of future political and military conflict. For pointing out these possibilities, this book deserves to be read.”
The Guardian“Emmerson produces the most comprehensive analysis… All three are to be commended for their crisp, easily digestible prose, for their clarity and for their avoidance of sentimentality or over-obsessive attention to detail.”
Energy-Musings.com, June 8, 2010
“The Future History of the Arctic is well researched and written. It is based on extensive interviews conducted by the author that provide information supporting the book’s themes he explores. The book is an easy way to grasp the significant issues and their context that have shaped and are continuing to shape the politics of the Arctic – one of the last great energy frontiers remaining on the planet. While the current U.S. offshore drilling moratorium is a setback for Alaska drilling, the issue of what drilling and how it is done in the Arctic region – in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Norway, Greenland and Iceland – will become front page news in the not too distant future. We urge you to consider adding Mr. Emmerson’s book to your summer reading list.”
The Guardian, April 18, 2010
“Emmerson produces the most comprehensive analysis… All three are to be commended for their crisp, easily digestible prose, for their clarity and for their avoidance of sentimentality or over-obsessive attention to detail.” Globe & Mail, June 7, 2010
“Charles Emmerson's The Future History of the Arctic is a much broader survey of the international Arctic, written to dispel European myths of a tranquil kingdom, with strong sections on Russia, Greenland and Iceland.” Center for a New American Security Natural Security blog, July 13, 2010“As I read, I was quite happily surprised – more than happily, actually. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It reads like travel writing: the perfect balance of history, first-person anecdotes from interesting places, current events, and the context of where trends are pointing for the future. The text provides important information, but it is also highly entertaining. Though it would be a good read for anyone, its detail would prove especially useful for anyone in the national security field… Overall, this is the most informative source I’ve read to date on the Arctic, and in particular on what’s happening and likely to happen in Russia. I declare it a must-read for this blog’s readership.”
A vivid, visionary exploration of the Arctic, the forces that have shaped it, and its emergence onto the main stage of global affairs
About the Author
Charles Emmerson has been a Global Leadership Fellow and Associate Director of the World Economic Forum, heading the Forums Global Risk Network and acting as their resident geopolitical specialist. Formerly, he worked for the International Crisis Group foreign policy think-tank. He graduated top of his class from Oxford University, and, as a recipient of an Entente Cordiale scholarship, studied international relations and international public law at the Institut dEtudes Politiques de Paris. He now lives in London.