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About the book
  • Published: 2 May 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099523536
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $24.99

The Future History of the Arctic

How Climate, Resources and Geopolitics are Reshaping the North and Why it Matters to the World




A vivid, visionary exploration of the Arctic, the forces that have shaped it, and its emergence onto the main stage of global affairs.

Previously always at the margins of global affairs, the Arctic has now found its way to the centre of the issues which will challenge and define our world in the twenty-first century. The region is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet and its future is uncertain, with the rush to claim the territory one of the ugliest aspects of the hydrocarbon era.

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, loaded with opportunity and rich in challenges. Travelling from the oil-fields of Prudhoe Bay and the Russian port of Murmansk to the shores of Greenland and the militarised borderlands of northern Norway we learn how the Arctic nations have used the area's resources, and how past ideas frame the future.

  • Pub date: 2 May 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099523536
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Charles Emmerson

Charles Emmerson has suffered from a life-long addiction to maps, geopolitics and the power of history to illuminate the future. Born in Australia, Charles grew up and was educated in London. After graduating top of his class from Oxford University in modern history, he was awarded an Entente Cordiale scholarship to study politics and law in Paris. Since then he has worked for a variety of international organisations focusing on global issues, including the International Crisis Group and, latterly, as Associate Director of the World Economic Forum and head of their Global Risks' team. He is the author of The Future History of the Arctic and 1913: The World Before the Great War. He now lives in London where he works as a writer and adviser on international affairs.

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Praise for The Future History of the Arctic

“Deeply insightful...His account is always clear-headed and elegant, weaving an extraordinary range of subjects into a compelling narrative”

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

“A fascinating, personal and visionary book. Splendid”

Lord Nicholas Stern

“Explores and greatly extends the issues ... and insightful analysis”

Times Literary Supplement

“Commended for [its] crisp, easily digestible prose...clarity...avoidance of sentimentality or over-obsessive attention to detail”

Robin McKie, The Observer

“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”

Joanna Kavenna, Spectator

“Required reading for anyone who wants to know more about this increasingly important region”

Sunday Business Post

“An expert on geopolitics, he writes with insight and authority”

Independent on Sunday

“This engrossing book will fascinate would-be explorers, foreign policy buffs and all those who care about our global environment. Charles Emmerson shows why the world's ice cap is where much of our world's future history will be written”

Chris Patten, Chancellor of Oxford University, Chairman of the International Crisis Group; Former European Union Commissioner for External Affairs


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