Forty years ago at a time when scientific collaboration between the east and west was unheard of, Charles Swithinbank, now an eminent glaciologist, joined the Soviet Antarctic Expedition. Vodka on Ice charts his fascinating time in Antarctica between 1963-5. On a personal level Swithinbank embarked on a journey of discovery; He set out speaking no Russian and his companions treated him with cold war suspicion. By the end of the expedition Swithinbank had a real understanding of the Soviet people and was a fluent Russian speaker. The friendships forged then have lasted to the present day. Scientifically speaking, the research and observation of ice field movement carried out by Swithinbank in Antarctica laid the foundations for our understanding of the importance of the poles in the earth's ecology and climate. Descriptions of the polar landscape and anecdotes from the expeditions are accompanied by colour and black-and-white photographs. In Vodka on Ice, Antarctica sets an outstanding example of international communication, as Swithinbank writes it is "a haven of peace in a troubled world."
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Since graduating from Oxford, Charles Swithinbank has held research posts at the Universities of Cambridge and Michigan. He has visited Antarctica over 20 times, spending three winters at isolated scientific stations. The author of Alien in Antarctica, Forty Years on Ice and Foothold on Antarctica (Book Guild 1998 & 9) as well as many articles, he was awarded the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society. Now a Senior Associate at the Scott Polar Research Institute, he lives in Cambridge.
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