Strategy and the Arctic


116 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-919769-21-7




Edited by R.B. Byers and Michael Slack
Reviewed by Kenneth M. Glazier

Kenneth M. Glazier was Chief Librarian Emeritus at the University of Calgary, Alberta.


For generations Canadians thought of the Arctic, if they thought about it at all, as a monotonous sea of ice and snow where a few courageous and adventurous men made hazardous trips to the North Pole and received the reward of an unofficial title of “hero.” Now all that has changed and Canadians are interested in the Arctic not only for its immeasurable treasures of gas and oil but also vast mineral resources. The Arctic, once dull and demanding, now carries the dollar sign of wealth for enterprising corporations. The Native peoples hope to share in some of the wealth provided there is concern for the protection of their environment.

The other concern for Canadians is the recognition by the United States and the Soviet Union of Canadian sovereignty in the northern waters. Now Canada must not only talk about sovereignty but must be prepared to protect the straits with powerful ice breakers and submarines. That’s what this book is about.

The Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, which is based in Toronto, has brought together eight scholars from Universities, departments of defence, and various research institutions. They are well qualified to shed light on the understanding of the Arctic in such matters as Canadian-Soviet comparisons, Northern development, political change, and the strategic importance of the Arctic region. Following each essay there are lengthy notes giving information about pertinent journal articles and books. There are a number of comments on what the Conservative government in Ottawa has promised to do and what has actually been done.

This volume will be appreciated not only in the academic world where these issues are discussed but for all those in many walks of life who want to be better informed about the Arctic today.


“Strategy and the Arctic,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024,