Next book

THE LAST ISLAND

DISCOVERY, DEFIANCE, AND THE MOST ELUSIVE TRIBE ON EARTH

A thrilling book that will leave you contemplating the concept of civilization.

A study of the Indigenous peoples on an island that “has almost wholly eluded” the outside world.

In this compelling account, Goodheart, author of 1861: The Civil War Awakening, takes readers to the Andaman Islands, a remote Indian archipelago located in the Bay of Bengal. The inhabitants of these islands lived largely in isolation prior to the establishment of a British penal colony in 1858, unsurprisingly bringing with them a series of epidemics to the Native peoples. Goodheart focuses on North Sentinel Island, located at the southwestern tip of the archipelago, whose hunter-gatherer inhabitants have been particularly resistant to outsider interference and are often mistaken for cannibals. While the origins of the Sentinelese are unclear, their branch of the human species remained separate from others for perhaps 50,000 years. In 2018, North Sentinel Island drew the attention of the world following the death of John Chau, an American missionary who was killed by the Sentinelese when he visited the island in an attempt to convert them to Christianity. Goodheart recounts stories of individuals who have been drawn to the Andaman Islands as well as stories from his own two expeditions. He reveals disturbing details about the 1879 visit by Maurice Vidal Portman, replete with images that Portman captured. According to his diaries, Portman admitted his efforts to befriend the Sentinelese were unsuccessful and had in fact “increase[ed] their general terror of, and hostility to, all comers.” Goodheart ably captures the mystery of the place. “When I started thinking about North Sentinel Island,” he writes, “I saw it as a place somehow exempt from this conception of time, a place that both was history and also lay outside history.” Nonetheless, time has taken a toll: In 1858, the population of the Andaman Islands was estimated to be roughly 5,000. By 1931, it was 460, with the Sentinelese perhaps numbering “fifty souls.”

A thrilling book that will leave you contemplating the concept of civilization.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023

ISBN: 9781567926828

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Godine

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 31


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Next book

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 31


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

Next book

A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

Close Quickview