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Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America Hardcover – July 29, 2010
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Unlike Antarctica, where an international treaty prohibits territorial claims, arctic lands have been subject to centuries of competition for control. In this timely history—timely, considering the tempo of military and commercial activity in the Arctic Ocean—Canadian historian Grant reviews international rivalries on the North American side of the Arctic Ocean. Prefacing them with archaeological evidence of prehistoric arctic cultures and of Norse settlements in Greenland, she narrates the arrival of European explorers and the development of territorial claims ensuing from their discoveries. Bracketed by accounts of the U.S. acquisition of Alaska and Denmark’s of Greenland, Canada’s assertion of its rights in the Arctic and persisting anxiety over their possible infringement by the U.S., in particular, dominates Grant’s overview. If international law is the language in which U.S. and Canadian differences are discussed, its vocabulary is substantively about navigation, military installations, and natural resources. Recounting also the self-governing political arrangements accorded by the U.S., Canada, and Denmark to indigenous peoples, Grant’s fund of facts and maps provides an invaluable foundation for understanding the environmental and international affairs of the Arctic. --Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Polar Imperative is the first really detailed study of 200 years of North American sovereignty in the Arctic, written from a Canadian vantage point but with excellent documentation of American, Danish, British and Norwegian histories."—The Globe and Mail
"Grant situates her rich study of North American Arctic sovereignty in a long-ranging analysis of the region's history ... Highly recommended"—Choice, an American Library Association publication
"Polar Imperative may well be the best book ever written on the history of the Arctic in North America. In the age of climate change and competition for Arctic resources, this original and provocative book will spark renewed debate about the future of the North. Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand what is going on in the Arctic today."—Ken Coates, author of Arctic Front