This wide-ranging study of the Pacific Islands provides a dynamic and provocative account of the peopling of the Pacific, and its broad impact on world history. Spanning over 50,000 years of human presence in an area which comprises one-third of our planet – Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia – the narrative follows the development of the region, from New Guinea's earliest settlement to the creation of the modern Pacific states. Thoroughly revised and updated in light of the most recent scholarship, the second edition includes: • an overview of the events and developments in the Pacific Islands over the last decade • coverage of the latest archaeological discoveries • several new maps • an updated and expanded bibliography Steven Roger Fischer's unique text provides a highly accessible and invaluable introduction to the history of an area which is currently emerging as pivotal in international affairs. A History of the Pacific Islands traces the human history of nearly one-third of the globe over a fifty-thousand year span. This is history on a grand scale, taking the islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia from prehistoric culture to the present day through a skilful interpretation of scholarship in the field. Fischer's familiarity with work in archaeology and anthropology as well as in history enriches the text, making this a book with wide appeal for students and general readers.