In Manhattan’s Wake

Fifty years ago, the American ice-breaking supertanker Manhattan tested the waters of Canada’s Northwest Passage. During its epic 1969 transit, Manhattan’s task was to determine the feasibility of shipping oil from newly-discovered fields of the North Slope of Alaska to North America’s Eastern Seaboard. In so doing, the massive vessel raised pivotal questions about safe navigation, sovereignty, and environmental protection, prompting new discussions about Arctic political and economic development.  Often told from the vantage point of the politicians and diplomats involved, the Manhattan’s story was also one of an integrated Canadian-American expedition dedicated to cooperative exploration and innovation. This volume publishes the reports of Lieutenant Commander Erling Stolee, the Royal Canadian Navy’s observer aboard Manhattan’s two Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker escorts – CCGS John A. Macdonald and Louis St. Laurent – which offer detailed, first-hand accounts of Canadian contributions to the test voyages.


P. Whitney Lackenbauer, is Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in the Study of the Canadian North with the School for the Study of Canada at Trent University. His recent books include Shaping Arctic Policy: The Minutes of the Eskimo Affairs Committee, 1952-62 (co-edited 2019); Familiar Fields to Foreign Soil: Three Rural Townships and the Great War (co-authored 2018); China’s Arctic Ambitions and What They Mean for Canada (co-authored 2018); Roots of Entanglement: Essays in Native-Newcomer Relations (co-edited 2017); and (Re)Conceptualizing Arctic Security: Selected Articles from the Journal of Military and Security Studies (co-edited 2017).

Adam Lajeunesse, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at St. Francis Xavier University, where he holds the Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Canadian Arctic and Marine Security Policy. He is a fellow with the Centre on Foreign Policy and Federalism at the University of Waterloo as well as the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Dr. Lajeunesse is the author of the Dafoe Prize winning Lock, Stock and Icebergs: A History of Canada’s Arctic Maritime Sovereignty. He has co-authored books on China’s Arctic interests and the evolution of northern military operations, as well as numerous articles and publications on northern defence, development, shipping, governance, and maritime policy.

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