Literary Cocktail Hour

The Literary Cocktail Hour is an fun, informal monthly event featuring a pair (or more) of speakers in an entertaining, illuminating virtual event based on the notion of a cocktail hour.

The Last Island

Adam Goodheart

  Friday, November 10 at 5:00 pm

Online and free! 

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The Last Island

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. 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. 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.


Adam Goodheart is a historian, travel writer, essayist, and author of The Last Island: Discovery, Defiance, and the Most Elusive Tribe on Earth (September 2023). He lives in Washington, D.C., and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where he is director of Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. Goodheart’s articles have appeared in National GeographicOutside, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, among others. He is the recipient of a Public Scholar Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as a Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers. He is also featured in a two-hour National Geographic documentary about North Sentinel Island, “The Mission,” premiering in theaters and streaming in late 2023.

Goodheart’s first book, the New York Times bestseller 1861: The Civil War Awakening, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in history and was named Book of the Year by the History Book Club; the audiobook edition won the Audie Award for best history title of the year. A cover review in the New York Times called it “exhilarating” “inspiring,” and “irresistible,” adding, “1861 creates the uncanny illusion that the reader has stepped into a time machine.”

Among its other honors, 1861 was cited among the best books of the year by the New York Times, The Atlantic, Kirkus Reviews, Slate, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. President Obama invited Goodheart to the Oval Office to recognize 1861’s role in having Fort Monroe, Va.—in which part of the book is set—declared a national park. He has made many broadcast media appearances, including on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” “Morning Edition,” and “All Things Considered,” as well as on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and the History Channel.