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The Last Island: Discovery, Defiance, and the Most Elusive Tribe on Earth (Hardcover)

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The Last Island: Discovery, Defiance, and the Most Elusive Tribe on Earth By Adam Goodheart Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

A unique history book that equally addresses the modern age. Simply put, it is a history of initial Western contact with the people of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. With some tribes largely uncontacted into the 20th century, the Andamans were an almost modern day cautionary tale of the effects of colonizers. Today, only North Sentinel Island remains isolated, 23-square-miles of jungle and beach, and a people fiercely sure they don’t need us. An incredible read for history or current issues fans.

— Andrew


"A deft combination of adventure, history, reportage and elegy."--Washington Post

A journey to the coast of North Sentinel Island, home to a tribe believed to be the most isolated human community on earth. The Sentinelese people want to be left alone and will shoot deadly arrows at anyone who tries to come ashore. As the web of modernity draws ever closer, the island represents the last chapter in the Age of Discovery--the final holdout in a completely connected world.

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.

The Last Island is a beautifully written meditation on the end of the Age of Discovery at the start of a new millennium. It is a book that will fascinate any reader interested in the limits--and dangers--of our modern, global society and its emphasis on ceaseless, unbroken connection.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781567926828
ISBN-10: 1567926827
Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher
Publication Date: September 19th, 2023
Pages: 272
Language: English