The Bering Strait Crossing - A 21st century frontier - James A. Oliver
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Diomede Islands at the Strait: looking south to the Pacific (July).

The Bering Strait Crossing
A 21st century frontier between East and West

James A. Oliver
Author of A Footprint in the Sand

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The Bering Strait Crossing is the epic story of the Intercontinental Divide. The ancient waterway - when the fog clears over the Diomede Islands - is among the world’s most stunning vistas. This is where the 53-mile wide strait, named for Danish explorer Vitus Bering (1681-1741), separates four continents across the Europe-Asia landmass and the Americas. Extremes of climate, isolation, and geopolitical tension have all interfaced to create the perception of a frozen limbo at the edge of the world. Yet the Bering Strait is the world’s geographical crossroads - linking East with West - for nowhere else on the globe is it possible to cross the Pacific Rim between Asia and the Americas.

In the modern era, various schemes have been proposed - rail, ferry, tunnel - by which to cross the strait. Since the end of the Cold War, a scheduled air service has been in place. The strait remains undefeated in terms of a terrestrial link between the USA and Russia - so far.

The author uncovers a world-shaping revelation: that the Bering Strait has the potential to become a global shipping nexus via the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route between Europe, North America, and Asia.

The self-induced amnesia of the long Cold War years is yielding to a fresh outlook between East and West across the strait. In a world thirsty for energy resources and trade, the prospect for US-Russian cooperation across the northern Pacific Rim is tantalising in its multiplicity - and vastness - with profound implications for the global economy. In the 21st century, the Bering Strait crossing has the potential to unite the world.

James A. Oliver blends geography, exploration and international relations to recount a story that has, incredibly, been lost to the archives - but which belongs to the future as much as to the past. The Bering Strait Crossing is an adventure story that is still unfolding, and which, in the 21st century, stands as a frontier with new challenges on the horizon . . .From East and West, enter a cast of extraordinary protagonists: Pliny, Mercator, Dezhnev, Vitus Bering, Shelikhov, Captain Cook, William Gilpin, Roald Amundsen, and - since the end of the Cold War - George Koumal, whose vision for a mighty project to cross the strait is worthy of Jules Verne’s Voyages Extraordinaire. . . "The Bering Strait crossing has a deep, worldwide significance." - Dr Yutaka Mochida

the author

James A. Oliver is an international writer, editor, and geographer. He is also the author of A Footprint in the Sand, an epic political comedy inspired by a special assignment at the end of the Cold War, and The Anarchist’s Arms - a stage play set in near-future London.

In 2006, The Bering Strait Crossing: A 21st Century Frontier was published worldwide. In 2007, he was invited to Moscow by The Russian Academy of Sciences to discuss the subject at the World Link confernce in Moscow. In 2009, the materials formed the basis of a Discovery Channel documentary broadcast that year. (The Beringia link concept was later awarded the Grand Prix for innovation at the World Expo in Shanghai 2010.)

From 2007-2009, he lived on the Ile Saint Louis in Paris, while working as a writer and editor on the Single European Sky (SES) project. In this interlude, he also developed the script for "The Pamphleteers" (2010), in which he investigates the birth of journalism with such proto-journalists as Robert Greene, Thomas Nashe, Thomas Dekker, John Milton, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift - and Tom Paine.

James Oliver is a Fellow of the Royal Geographcial Society.