Suggested Reading List


Brady, Anne-Marie. China as a Polar Great Power. Cambridge University Press. 2017. 286 pages

China’s focus on becoming a polar great power and its implication for maritime and security, climate change and resources. 

Bravo, Michael. North Pole: Nature and CultureReaktion Books. 2019. 256 pages

Interweaving science and history, this book offers the first unified vision of how the North Pole has shaped everything from literature to the goals of political leaders—from Alexander the Great to neo-Hindu nationalists.

Byers, Michael. Who Owns the Arctic?: Understanding Sovereignty Disputes in the NorthDouglas & McIntyre. 2010. 192 pages

Control of the Northwest passage and its oil, gas, and territories; protecting its environment while seizing economic opportunities. 

Dodds, Klaus and Mark Nuttall. The Scramble for the Poles: The Geopolitics of the Arctic and the Antarctic. Polity. 2015. 223 pages

A discussion of the “scramble for the poles”; the potential for conflict, the destruction of the world’s last wilderness, and longer historical and geopolitical patterns and processes of human activity in these remote territories.

Dodds, Klaus and Mark Nuttall. The Arctic: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press. 2019. 272 pages

Discussions of competition for land and resources, rooted in issues of rights, midst the threat of global climate change.

Ehrlich, Gretel. This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland. Vintage. 2003. 377 pages

A story of her travels with history and social anthropology revealing a Greenland and a clarity of life at the extreme edge of the world.

Emmerson, Charles. The Future History of the Arctic. PublicAffairs. 2010. 442 pages

The Arctic; the center of the issues that will challenge our world in the 21st century: energy security and the struggle for natural resources, climate change and its uncertain speed and consequences, the return of great power competition, and the remaking of global trade patterns.

Francis, Gavin. True North: Travels in Arctic Europe. Birlinn. 2019. 304 pages

A journey from the Shetland Islands to Lapland: travel, history and mythology.

Gertner, Jon. The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic journey into Greenland’s Buried Past and Our Perilous Future. Random House. 2019. 448 pages

An account of the explorers and scientists racing to understand the rapidly melting ice sheet in Greenland, a harbinger of climate change.

Heuer, Christopher. Into the White: The Renaissance Arctic and the End of the Image. Zone Books. 2019. 262 pages

How the arctic confounded vision, geographic knowledge, and humanistic truths.

Kraska, James. Arctic Security in an Age of Climate Change. Cambridge University Press. 2013. 342 pages

An examination of Arctic defense policy and military security from the perspective of all eight Arctic states; Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, the United States, Iceland, Sweden and Finland.

Laruelle, Marlene. Russia’s Arctic Strategies and the Future of the Far North. Routledge. 2013. 280 pages

A comprehensive examination of Russia’s Arctic strategy, ranging from climate change issues and territorial disputes to energy policies and domestic challenges.

Lopez, Barry. Arctic Dreams. Vintage. 2001. 496 pages

A groundbreaking exploration of the Far North, a classic of natural history, anthropology and travel writing.

McCannon, John. A History of the Arctic: Nature, Exploration and Exploitation. Reaktion Books. 2012. 357 pages

An overview of the region from the Stone Age to the present, examining all its major aspects from a global perspective.

Nordenman, Magnus. New Battle for the Atlantic: Emerging Competition with Russia in the Far North. Naval Institute Press. 2019. 252 pages

An exploration of emerging competition between the United States and its NATO allies and the resurgent Russian navy in the North Atlantic.

Pitzer, Andrea. Icebound—Shipwrecked on the Edge of the World. Scribner. 2021. 320 pages

Long before Bering or Amundsen, long before Franklin or Shackleton, there was William Barents, in many ways the greatest polar explorer of them all.

Watt-Cloutier, Sheila. The Right to Be Cold: One Woman’s Fight to Protect the Arctic and Save the Planet from Climate Change. University of Minnesota Press. 2018. 368 pages

A chronicle of the life of the leading indigenous climate change, cultural and human rights advocate.

Strom, Hilde Falun and Sorby, Sunniva. Hearts in the Ice. 2020. 

A historic account of the first women to overwinter in Svalbard.

Wheeler, Sara. The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2011. 336 pages

A definitive picture of life on the fringes, the Arctic, at once the most pristine place on earth and the focus of global warming.