As the Antarctic Treaty comes up for renewal and global warming increasingly becomes a reality, the polar regions have attracted renewed interest. However, while Western policy in the Arctic regions is well documented, little is known of traditional Soviet policy in this area. And this, despite the fact that the Soviet Union is one of the most important nations in the field of polar exploration. Even in the era of Glasnost , research remains difficult. In The Soviet Arctic Pier Horensma corrects this situation. Horensma has based his research on the comparatively wide literature available on this topic in Russian, but barely known in the West. He traces Soviet policy of the last 100 years - giving particular importance to the Stalin period and his legacy to current Soviet attitudes in the Arctic. He also considers the international implications of this policy and the effect of technological advances. The Soviet Arctic is important not just for historical detail but also for an understanding of current policy. This is particularly relevant in view of the legal aspects, as historical precedents will have important implications for the revision of the Antarctic Treaty.
Horensma's book is also important as it is the first serious attempt to compile a comprehensive bibliography on this subject.