East End Books Ptown presents Andrew Lawler & his fantastic new book "The Secret Token" on Monday July 2nd at 6pm!
The Secret Token
In 1587, 115 men, women, and children arrived at Roanoke Island on the coast of North Carolina to establish the first English colony in the New World. But when its leader returned to Roanoke from a resupply mission, the settlers had vanished, leaving behind only a single clue—a “secret token” etched into a tree.
What happened to the colonists? That question has consumed historians, archeologists, and amateur sleuths ever since. In The Secret Token, Andrew Lawler sets out on a quest to determine the fate of the settlers, finding fresh leads as he encounters a host of characters obsessed with resolving the enigma. In the course of his journey, Lawler also discovers how the Lost Colony came to haunt our national consciousness. The Secret Token, made the Southern Independent Best Seller list.
Take a look at this great National Geographic article about what happened and the compelling book written by Andrew Lawler:
Incisive and absorbing, The Secret Token offers a new understanding not just of the Lost Colony and its fate, but of how its absence continues to define—and divide—America.
”Part detective novel, part historical reckoning, Lawler’s engrossing book traces the story of—and the obsessive search for—the lost colony of Roanoke… [l]eading to a thoughtful and timely discourse about race and identity.... Lawler makes a strong case for why historical myths matter.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Lawler] creates a vivid picture of the roiling, politically contentious, economically stressed Elizabethan world from which they sailed.…In this enjoyable historical adventure, an unsolved mystery reveals violent political and economic rivalries and dire personal struggles.”
“Riveting and carefully researched….Lawler takes us inside one of the oldest and most intoxicating mysteries in American history.” —Candice Millard, New York Times bestselling author of Hero of the Empire
“A fascinating account of one of our country’s great historical mysteries. Fast-paced and wonderfully written, with plenty of surprising turns along the way, THE SECRET TOKEN is a delight.” —Nathaniel Philbrick, New York Times bestselling author of Valiant Ambition
“THE SECRET TOKEN dives deep into the mysteries of the Lost Colony, chasing clues across ages, isles, oceans, and archives and yielding a beguiling narrative of America’s first English colony. This seminal tale of loss and longing helps explain who we are today.” —Dean King, New York Times bestselling author of Skeletons on the Zahara and The Feud
“The ‘Lost Colony’ of Roanoke is one of this country’s most enduring mysteries. Andrew Lawler turns Roanoke into one of our history’s best stories, recounting not only the fascinating, little-known history of the colony itself but that of the incredible swirl of historians, archaeologists, hoaxers, actors, priests, Native Americans, and experts on arcane subjects who have been caught up in the quest to find it. A tale of cockeyed historical obsession, The Secret Token is also a serious look at America’s confused ideas about itself.” —Charles Mann, New York Times bestselling author of The Wizard and the Prophet and 1491
NEWS FROM DOUBLEDAY
The Wall Street Journal called Andrew Lawler’s first book, Why Did the Chicken Cross the World, “fascinating and delightful,” Kirkus Reviews called it a “splendid book,” and Science magazine said, “Lawler’s book goes a long way toward restoring chickens to their respected position within human history and our modern world. Both chickens and people will benefit as a result.”
Now Lawler has taken on another long-misunderstood story, and the result is a sweeping account of America’s oldest unsolved mystery, THE SECRET TOKEN: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke (Doubleday; 6/5/2018). Lawler tells the riveting tale of the disappearance of America’s first settlers and examines how the Lost Colony has come to haunt our national consciousness.
In 1587, 115 men, women, and children arrived at Roanoke Island on the coast of North Carolina to establish the first English settlement in the New World. But when the new colony’s leader returned to Roanoke from a resupply mission, his settlers had vanished, leaving behind only a single clue—a “secret token” etched into a tree. What happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke? That question has consumed historians, archaeologists, and amateur sleuths for four hundred years. In THE SECRET TOKEN, Lawler sets out to gather clues of the fate of the missing settlers at archaeological digs, in European archives, and among the people living today in the Carolina swamps. Along the way he discovers that the story of the lost Elizabethans shines fresh light on the issues of race, gender, and immigration consuming present-day America and introduces readers to a host of characters—from Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth to Virginia Dare, the first English baby born in America, whose image has recently resurfaced as a symbol of ethnic purity by the alt-right.
Our 400-year-old obsession with the Lost Colony isn’t just about what happened to a group of English migrants on a remote island. In a nation fractured by views on race, gender, and immigration, we are still struggling with what it means to be American.
Lawler’s deftly researched and absorbing book offers a surprising answer to the old question of the colonists’ fate, as well as, a new understanding of how this story continues to haunt and define America. This quote from New York Times bestselling author Rinker Buck hits the nail on the head: “Plumbing the depths of the Lost Colony at Roanoke, the most enduring riddle of American history, reveals more about who we are today than the actual fate of the doomed expedition of 1587.…[Lawler] deftly shows that the drama of burrowing down rabbit holes and chasing false leads is not simply entertaining but deeply informative about our past.”
About the Author: Andrew Lawler is the author of Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization. He has written more than a thousand newspaper and magazine articles from more than two dozen countries, his byline has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and many other publications. He is a contributing writer for Science and a contributing editor for Archaeology. His work has appeared in The Best of Science and Nature Writing.