Book Talk: Adam Goodheart, “The Last Island: Discovery, Defiance, And The Most Elusive Tribe On Earth"
Harwood Center At the Lawrence Preserve | 301 South Mill Street
In November 2018, a zealous American missionary was killed while attempting to visit an island he called “Satan’s last stronghold,” a small patch of land known as North Sentinel in the Andaman Islands, a remote archipelago in the Indian Ocean. News of the tragedy fascinated people around the world. Most were unaware such a place still existed in our time: an island unmolested by the advances of modern technology.
Twenty years before the American missionary’s ill-fated visit, a young American historian and journalist named Adam Goodheart also traveled to the waters off North Sentinel. During his time in the Andaman Islands he witnessed another isolated tribe emerge into modernity for the first time.
Now, Goodheart—a bestselling historian—has returned to the Andamans. The Last Island is a work of history as well as travel, a journey in time as well as place. It tells the stories of others drawn to North Sentinel’s mystery through the centuries, from imperial adventurers to an eccentric Victorian photographer to modern-day anthropologists. It narrates the tragic stories of other Andaman tribes’ encounters with the outside world. And it shows how the web of modernity is drawing ever closer to the island’s shores.