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Roanoke: The Abandoned Colony 2nd Edition
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It was very well written, and read more like a short novel than a history book. While providing information on the many people involved in the Roanoke adventures, it also reviewed the general socio-economic factors influencing American colonization in general. It really contained a ton of information on American colonization and the European factors behind it, and it presented it in such a way that it told a story, rather than simply jumping from time-period and event to time-period and event! (like many of those so called "textbooks")
The author is a noted authority on the early contacts between Europeans and Native Americans.
Read it, you'll like it.
Roanoke, the Abandoned Colony is a little old and reflects it's 1984 vintage. Settlement of the North and South American continents is described as having occurred by way of a "land bridge" during the glacial epic 10,000 to 40,000 years ago. Native people are depicted as having followed their game animals across the Bering Strait into the Americas. Today this is considered somewhat less likely than it was prior to the 1990s, and alternative possibilities are usually given in more recent works on the topic.
Once beyond the background history of the native population, however, the author is on firmer ground. The ample documentation of early English settlement provides her with evidence for a thorough discussion of the period. Much of her background information, however, is taken from secondary rather than primary sources. The notes to the edition contain references to works written in the 1960s, 70s, and 80's about Roanoke, Raleigh, the Southeastern Indians, and so on, rather than documents by early explorers, although she consults those doing original research with primary sources or with archaeological field data.
I had rather expected a more sensational approach to the topic; most of us who know anything at all about Roanoke simply know of the mysterious disappearance of its colonists and the name Virginia Dare. Neglected beyond that introduction by most high school American history courses-in fact many college courses-the average reader is left with a lacuna in his/her understanding of the colonial era.Read more ›
The subtitle, "The Abandoned Colony" is remarkably insightful and appropriate and the book explains in clear and specific terms why this attempt at colonization was destined for failure from the outset. The author is clear in her logic and in her explanations of what took place. Each chapter leads the reader from the back-story toward the ultimate reasons for the deserted colony.
This capitalist effort was a corporate subsidized suicide mission and the facts supporting such a thesis are, regrettably for those who history will now vilify, all to clear.
The book reads surprisingly like a work of fiction; the story of the people, their interactions, motivations and personalities, all laid out like a strange tale resulting in a Steven King like disaster (King did reference the "Lost Colony" in his screenplay "The Storm of the Century"). The fact that this colony resulted in failure is no shock looking back. But Karen Ordahl Kupperman gives great detail to the climate of the times which resulted in such a seemingly obvious disaster waiting to happen. Obviously, the colonists and the leaders did not forsee disaster, but the book reads like a thriller in which we know the outcome but not how the final chapter is reached.Read more ›
In the end the mystery is why is lasted as long as it did and why didn't they use the lessons here to help Jamestown? Well, to be honest, some of the lessons were used and some were not.
I would also suggest The Deadly Politics of Giving: Exchange and Violence at Ajacan, Roanoke, and Jamestown by Seth Mallios if you wanted to learn more about what factors were involved. I think it helps build up a complete picture of what happened with the first colonies.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I’m not knowledgeable enough about the Lost Colony to judge whether the scholarship of this book is entirely up to date at the time of this review (, in 2015, but the author has... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Cochise
I had a hard time getting through it. The historical details seemed tedious and redundant to read. I may add information to someone wanting to add information to present knowledge,... Read morePublished on January 14, 2014 by Annie
I bought this book for my wife so i cant give an accurate review but as far as the quality and looks of the book i would recomend it.Published on August 28, 2013 by Mderr
this little book is full of details of Elizabethan life and personality as well as the story of the Roanoke colony. Read morePublished on December 23, 2007 by Amazon Customer
The prose is dry, and the book didn't provide any insights you couldn't get from just asking someone on the street -- no new material, no interesting conclusions.Published on June 17, 2004