Audiobook Review | A Quest for Roanoke in 'The Secret Token' by Andrew Lawler | HistoryNet MENU
Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition to find the lost Roanoke colony comes up empty as he discovers the mysterious word "Croatoan" carved into a tree at the abandoned camp, as depicted in this 1590 painting.

Audiobook Review | A Quest for Roanoke in ‘The Secret Token’ by Andrew Lawler

By Ryan Paul Winn
November 9, 2018 • American History Magazine


The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke by Andrew Lawler

Read by David H. Lawrence, with the recording produced by Random House Audio

Reviewed by Ryan Paul Winn

Long-lost Roanoke is colonial America’s Area 51—an enigma puzzling generations of historians and conspiracy theorists. Andrew Lawler examines the gamut of leads, engrossing listeners in four hundred-plus years of unprovable elucidations. David H. Lawrence’s balanced read lends credence to every machination Lawler explores. Each ostensible explanation reveals more about the explainer than clarification about Roanoke’s fate.


Ryan Paul Winn is a columnist and media critic who’s rarely without an audiobook or his earbuds. When not writing or teaching in the Liberal Studies department at College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, he can be found researching overlooked history in local and national archives.

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