||"Because of their size and boundedness, islands tell tales about what's happening to our world more clearly than continental lands ever could. One of those tales is about the inexorable rise of sea levels and the disappearance of land, which is plainly visible on islands. But surprisingly, islands also continue to come into being regularly, some created through natural forces such as volcanism or melting ice, others through human desires for political and economic expansion, military defenses, or simply new tourist havens. Often the human-made islands are being built heedless of rising waters-just a few feet above current sea level-and are themselves contributing to the destruction of the environment. As in his previous books about the world's unusual places, Alastair Bonnett here features stories of his visits to a number of islands or island groups, ranging from the South Pacific to Panama, with stops in Dubai and northern Europe. Along the way, he discusses the many ways islands rise and fall, the long and little-known history of human island building, and the prospect that the hills and valleys of today's continental lands-as on North America's eastern seaboard-will one day be a series of archipelagos"-- Provided by publisher.