The Lost White Tribe is the history of the idea, or more precisely the myth, that a wave of superior “white” conquerors spread throughout the world at some point in human prehistory. In the Western imagination, this advanced “race” left behind hidden pockets of nobility and civilization in Africa, Asia, and the Americas that awaited discovery by European explorers. Over the course of the nineteenth century, various linguists, scientists, journalists, adventurers, and eccentrics referred to these civilizing conquerors as Hamites and/or Aryans. The fact that no one was able to actually produce a living white tribesmen did nothing to dampen the Western public’s appetite for scientific, journalistic, archaeological, and novelistic accounts of their origins and influence. Michael F. Robinson, a historian of exploration at the University of Hartford, convincingly argues that these myths helped justify the European conquest of Africa as a...

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