Approximately 12 percent of the earth's population resides in mountain ranges. In this coffee-table book chock full of color and black-and-white photographs and maps, Tobias has collected a series of essays documenting the lives and work of some of the more obscure highlands' inhabitants on all continents. In the US, Robert Coles surveys Appalachia, while other sections document the life of the Hindu Kush, the Hushi of the Baltoro Glacier, The Karakoram of Pakistan, the Bismin-Kuskumin of Papua, the Gurungs of Nepal, and many others. The central, unifying theme throughout is the effect of the 20th century on traditional highland peoples and their environments. Dam projects and such, for example, displace some societies, like the Ifugao of the Philippines. Then, when they are forced to the cities for subsistence, they are treated cruelly. Tourism is one of the crucial factors in destroying the mountains, especially in the European Alps. As Jack Ives writes: ""Much of the burgeoning development of the mountains is proceeding more or less spontaneously; adequate full-scale planning and assessment of the effects of land-use are unobtainable, unknown, or deliberately ignored."" This is a book to read with wonder, a haunting sadness, and an arousal to the realization that no comer of the globe is safe from ""civilization's"" incursions.