Cover image for Antarctic comrades : an American with the Russians in Antarctica
Antarctic comrades : an American with the Russians in Antarctica
Dewart, Gilbert, 1932-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Columbus : Ohio State University Press, [1989]

Physical Description:
xi, 194 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G875.D49 A3 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Antarctic Comrades chronicles an American scientist's adventure with a Soviet research team in 1960. This book is Gilbert Dewart's description of the work accomplished at the Mirnyy research station and of a four-month summertime trek inland to Vostok, another Soviet station in the coldest part of Antarctica. It illuminates an event during the Eisenhower/Kennedy/Khrushchev era, an early attempt at glasnost, and the evolution of the international scientific community.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In 1960 American geophysicist and glaciologist Dewart participated in an international expedition to Antarctica under Russian supervision. His engaging story of that year is replete with interesting scientific information--the ice cap in some regions is more than two miles thick, there are deserts where the annual precipitation is less than five inches and where the temperature can sink as low as 129F. But lay readers will be less attracted by his discussion of matters scientific than by his portraits of the Russians with whom he worked: he found them warm and impetuous, gregarious and always on the lookout for an excuse to have a party. The group was together at the time of the U-2 incident, but this event, stresses Dewart, did not destroy the camaraderie. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Although dealing with past events, this book is most timely, concerned as it is with living together with the Soviets. Dewart, a geophysicist, was the third American visiting scientist to spend a year, 1960-61, at an isolated Russian station, and the first to participate with a Soviet team in crossing part of Antarctica. During a period when the cold war was getting cooler (the U-2 downing had recently taken place), the reader learns that individuals can cooperate and live harmoniously even while their nations are hostile. The writing is lively, and at times gripping, whether describing daily activities (including a disastrous fire), scientific research, or interpersonal relationships. One learns about antarctic living and how American and Soviet patterns compare; Dewart had earlier spent a year at a US station. Background information about USSR Antarctic activities in general, the Antarctic Treaty, and the rationale for scientific research in the Far South frame the year's adventures. Learning about Soviet attitudes and behavior, about the home-lives of some colleagues, as well as how individuals cope with isolation and adversity are the most rewarding aspects of this interesting volume. Appropriate for any college library. -E. D. Rudolph, The Ohio State University