Viewed from the mainland, the history of the archipelago appears as a long list of non-invited but irresistible disembarkations. Viewed from on an island the archipelago has had a rich and unique history of sustainable use of scarce resources.The main theme of this book is the exploration of the meanings of near islands, of the archipelago. General and particular features of 1,246 islands of the Croatian archipelago are starting points of stories about particular islands, subarchipelagos and urban archipelagos. The chapters question and analyse the archipelago identity from different perspectives. Approached as a group of islands, the analysis investigates features of subarchipelagos, urban subarchipelagos, mainland dependent islands, outlying islands and island emigrant communities that are trying to restore and conserve their island. This book highlights the identity and identities of the archipelago as both complex and multidimensional.
This collection is "an archipelago of chapters about an archipelago," and also an effort at advancing the budding field of "nissology," or the study of islands in their own terms. Thus the opening chapters contain discussions of various characteristics of islands large and small, especially those near a mainland. These conceptual discussions, and all of the chapters, are very readable, with examples meant to appeal to scholars but also to general readers, since the Croatian coast and its islands are major European tourist destinations. Authors from multiple disciplines address issues of demography, history, linguistics, economics, and cultures in the islands, which have developed in the past century from hardscrabble agriculture- and fishing-based economies to economies based largely on tourism. In the process, the population has shrunk dramatically, so that weekend and summer inhabitants outnumber year-rounders. Additionally, agriculture now focuses on wine making. While the chapter studies are specific to the Croatian islands, appropriate parallels are drawn to other archipelagos of islands close to mainlands. This book will appeal to scholars who study islands, tourism, and Croatia, though there are also very substantive chapters on demographic changes, migration, and diasporas for readers interested in those topics. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers through faculty.