Formally incorporated into the British Empire in 1908 and again in 1917, the Anterctic Peninsula and wind-blown island chains of the South Atlantic became part of a pink-tinted empire. Some in Britain hoped that the entire Antarctic continent would be annexed. Those hopes were never to be realized yet successive British governments have been determined to maintain, and even fight for Britain's territorial possessions in this faraway region of the world. "Pink Ice" tells the story of the political struggles over Antarctica and the South Atlantic. It shows how Great Britain and Argentina have sought to invest these thinly populated spaces, composed mostly of ice, rock and water, with cultural and national importance. This is a phenomenon by no means exclusive to the South Atlantic. Providing the wider political and historical background to the 1982 Falklands conflict, the author demonstrates how political rivalries have on different occasions been played out in other competitive arenas such as World Cup football, reactions to outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and trade disputes wherever they have occurred.
The author has interviewed leading politicians and civil servants including Lords Carrington, Owen, Chalfont, Hurd and Shackleton, former Falkland Islands Governors Sir Cosmo Haskard and Sir Rex Hunt, and the Antarctic explorers Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Vivian Fuchs. At a time when Britain has reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining its territorial presence in the region, "Pink Ice" provides a timely analysis of how territorial disputes simply refuse to fade away despite the claims made in favour of globalization.