From Britain to Japan, from the Galapagos to Manhattan, this book roams the planet to provide the first global introduction to these waterlocked landforms. Longtime island dweller Steven Roger Fischer shows that, since time began, islands have been one of the primary birthplaces for plants, animals, and proto-humans. These eyots of stone and sand—whether in ocean, lake, or river—fostered the human race, and Fischer recounts how humanity then exploited these remarkable habitats as stepping stones to global dominion. He explores island economics, warfare, and politics, and he examines the role they have played in literature, art and psychology. At the same time, he sparks our imagination with visions of islands—from Atlantis to Tahiti, Treasure Island to Hawaii. Ultimately, he reveals, these isolated mini-worlds are a measure of humankind itself.
An engaging account of the islets that have enriched, lured, terrified, and inspired us, Islands shines new light on these cradles of earth—and human—history.