Arctic Front

Defending Canada in the Far North

Arctic Front

By:  Coates, Ken
Lackenbauer, P. Whitney
Morrison, Bill
Poelzer, Greg

$23.95 Paperback
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Thomas Allen Publishers

Limited ***

5.8 X 8.8 in
280 pg


A hard-hitting, timely, and provocative book about the history and future of the Canadian Arctic. With passion and sharp words, "Arctic Front" confronts Canada's longstanding neglect of the Far North and outline what needs to be done to protect our national interest.

Through a lively and engaging history of the region, "Arctic Front" reveals how Canadians and their governments have: 
* ignored this region for generations
* expanded Canadian sovereignty over the past hundred years by reacting to other countries' challenges
*become the least effective of all Circumpolar nations in responding to the needs of the Arctic
*neglected our obligations to the North, including a failure to capitalize on the human and economic resources of this vast land or to establish a presence that would make any foreign claims to offshore resources inconceivable.

As global warming continues to melt the ice in the Northwest Passage and the competition for northern resources heats up, Canada, the authors warn, will be forced to defend this area from a position of grave weakness. Our leaders need to take action today, blending defence and development, to complete Canadian nation building in this fragile region.

An energetic and engaging collaboration by four of Canada's leading Northern specialists, "Arctic Front" is a clarion call to all Canadians about our endangered Arctic region, challenging the country to step away from the symbols and myth making of the past and toward the urgent political, environmental and economic realities of the 21st century. 

“Unquestionably, this book deals with a subject of major public importance and interest. This is a substantial and accessible book that should be widely read by everyone interested in an insightful introduction to this subject.”Jury citation, The Donner Prize

“Arctic Front tells the disturbing story of Canada’s absent-mindedness in Arctic policy-making over the decades. This history should fuel a heated national debate as the Arctic ice shrinks and new challenges to our sovereignty appear from all directions.”Tony Penikett, former NDP Leader and Premier of the Yukon

“Arctic Front is a sobering synopsis of Canada’s claims to the Far North. It will likely become a hallmark reference text…. [F]or casual readers and serious fact-finders alike…”Winnipeg Free Press

“A call to arms for a new era in Canadian culture and politics toward the North. Call it the Arctic Awakening…. Instead of making Arctic policy frightening or unbearably dull, Arctic Frontreveals the subject as one of the most interesting foreign policy questions of the 21st century.”Yukon News

Ken Coates was raised in Whitehorse and has a long-standing interest in northern themes.  Titles include Canada’s Colonies, The Sinking of the Princess Sophia (with Bill Morrison), The Modern North (with Judith Powell), North to Alaska (on the building of the Alaska Highway) and many academic books.  He has worked on north-centred television documentaries and served as a consultant to northern governments and organizations.  He is currently Professor of History and Dean of Arts, University of Waterloo.

  - P. Whitney Lackenbauer is one of Canada's leading experts on northern security and defense issues. He has traveled throughout the Arctic with the Canadian Rangers and has worked extensively on the history of the DEW Line. He is currently a professor of History at St. Jerome's University, University of Waterloo. - Bill Morrison is recognized as Canada's most senior historian of the Canadian North. His well-regarded book, "True North", provides an overview history of the Canadian North. He has published over a dozen books. He is currently Professor of History, University of Northern British Columbia. - Greg Poelzer is a leading expert on Circumpolar affairs and the politics of the modern North. He has many years of experience in Russia and Scandinavia and has a long-standing interest in Arctic affairs in Canada. He is also founding Dean of Undergraduate Affairs for the University of the Arctic. He is an Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Saskatchewan.