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The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu (Thorndike Non Fiction) (Large Print / Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


I’ve got a soft spot for stories about librarians fighting to save their libraries and this hits it for sure. One man builds a library to save centuries of Islamic manuscripts. A world famous Tuareg blues musician inspired by Al Qaeda may help to destroy them all. Can they be spirited away before the bonfire?

— Dave

A book about the past mixed with the politics of the today, all told through captivating reporting. It celebrates the true thrilling story of the people who smuggled old, rare books and scripts out of West Africa as they confront the new dangers of the present. Badass Librarians is both inspiring and page-turning.

— Ian

Description


To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean's Eleven.
In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. "The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu" tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world's greatest and most brazen smugglers.
In 2012, thousands of Al Qaeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali, including Timbuktu. They imposed Sharia law, chopped off the hands of accused thieves, stoned to death unmarried couples, and threatened to destroy the great manuscripts. As the militants tightened their control over Timbuktu, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali.
Over the past twenty years, journalist Joshua Hammer visited Timbuktu numerous times and is uniquely qualified to tell the story of Haidara's heroic and ultimately successful effort to outwit Al Qaeda and preserve Mali's and the world's literary patrimony. Hammer explores the city's manuscript heritage and offers never-before-reported details about the militants march into northwest Africa. But above all, "The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu" is an inspiring account of the victory of art and literature over extremism.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781410490032
ISBN-10: 1410490033
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Publication Date: May 18th, 2016
Pages: 430
Language: English
Series: Thorndike Non Fiction
ABA Admin Product Details
Data Source: Ingram
Created At: 2/14/2016 08:46am
Last Updated At: 10/1/2020 10:44pm
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