His the story is one of a man who, through extreme circumstances, discovered his higher calling and was changed forever by it.
Author: Joshua Hammer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
To save ancient Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven in this “fast-paced narrative that is…part intellectual history, part geopolitical tract, and part out-and-out thriller” (The Washington Post). 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 were crumbling in the trunks of desert shepherds. His goal: to preserve this crucial part of the world’s patrimony in a gorgeous library. But then Al Qaeda showed up at the door. “Part history, part scholarly adventure story, and part journalist survey….Joshua Hammer writes with verve and expertise” (The New York Times Book Review) about how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world’s greatest smugglers by saving the texts from sure destruction. With bravery and patience, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. His heroic heist “has all the elements of a classic adventure novel” (The Seattle Times), and is a reminder that ordinary citizens often do the most to protect the beauty of their culture. His the story is one of a man who, through extreme circumstances, discovered his higher calling and was changed forever by it.
See also Joshua Hammer, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race
to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts (New York: Simon and Schuster,
2016), which was published after I completed this chapter. I must also ...
Author: Shannon Mattern
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
Category: Social Science
For years, pundits have trumpeted the earthshattering changes that big data and smart networks will soon bring to our cities. But what if cities have long been built for intelligence, maybe for millennia? In Code and Clay, Data and Dirt Shannon Mattern advances the provocative argument that our urban spaces have been “smart” and mediated for thousands of years. Offering powerful new ways of thinking about our cities, Code and Clay, Data and Dirt goes far beyond the standard historical concepts of origins, development, revolutions, and the accomplishments of an elite few. Mattern shows that in their architecture, laws, street layouts, and civic knowledge—and through technologies including the telephone, telegraph, radio, printing, writing, and even the human voice—cities have long negotiated a rich exchange between analog and digital, code and clay, data and dirt, ether and ore. Mattern’s vivid prose takes readers through a historically and geographically broad range of stories, scenes, and locations, synthesizing a new narrative for our urban spaces. Taking media archaeology to the city’s streets, Code and Clay, Data and Dirt reveals new ways to write our urban, media, and cultural histories.
The Quest for Timbuktu and the Fantastic Mission to Save Its Past Charlie English
... In “Explore Gates' Diary: The Road to Timbuktu. ... The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts.
Author: Charlie English
“Timbuktu is a real place, and Charlie English will fuel your wanderlust with true descriptions of the fabled city’s past, present, and future.” –Fodor’s Two tales of a city: The historical race to “discover” one of the world’s most mythologized places, and the story of how a contemporary band of archivists and librarians, fighting to save its ancient manuscripts from destruction at the hands of al Qaeda, added another layer to the legend. To Westerners, the name “Timbuktu” long conjured a tantalizing paradise, an African El Dorado where even the slaves wore gold. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, a series of explorers gripped by the fever for “discovery” tried repeatedly to reach the fabled city. But one expedition after another went disastrously awry, succumbing to attack, the climate, and disease. Timbuktu was rich in another way too. A medieval center of learning, it was home to tens of thousands—according to some, hundreds of thousands—of ancient manuscripts, on subjects ranging from religion to poetry, law to history, pharmacology, and astronomy. When al-Qaeda–linked jihadists surged across Mali in 2012, threatening the existence of these precious documents, a remarkable thing happened: a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts into hiding. Relying on extensive research and firsthand reporting, Charlie English expertly twines these two suspenseful strands into a fraught and fascinating account of one of the planet's extraordinary places, and the myths from which it has become inseparable.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary, analysis and review of the book and not the original book. Joshua Hammer's harrowing tale, "The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu" tells the story of the secret mission to smuggle almost 400,000 manuscripts from Timbuktu in a fascinating and in-depth look at a piece of history many are unfamiliar with. This SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis offers supplementary material to "The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu" to help you distill the key takeaways, review the book's content, and further understand the writing style and overall themes from an editorial perspective. Whether you'd like to deepen your understanding, refresh your memory, or simply decide whether or not this book is for you, SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis is here to help. Absorb everything you need to know in under 20 minutes! What does this SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis Include? An Executive Summary of the original book Editorial Review Key Takeaways and analysis from each chapter Chapter-by-chapter summaries A short bio of the the author Original Book Summary Overview Joshua Hammer's, "The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts" tells the true-life story of Abdel Kader Haidara's secret mission to smuggle 377,000 centuries-old manuscripts out of Timbuktu during the 2012 jihadi occupation of northern Mali. Hammer's book is packed with thrill-a-minute adventures well-told by one of today's most prominent journalists. This action-packed narrative is a great read not only for history buffs and bibliophiles, but for anyone who wants to understand more about the rise of radical Islam and the way events have unfolded leading up to the modern-day Middle East. BEFORE YOU BUY: The purpose of this SUMOREADS Summary & Analysis is to help you decide if it's worth the time, money and effort reading the original book (if you haven't already). SUMOREADS has pulled out the essence-but only to help you ascertain the value of the book for yourself. This analysis is meant as a supplement to, and not a replacement for, "The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu."
This move was reported by international journalists such as the Washington
Post's Sudarsan Raghavan, who began his ... Joshua Hammer, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts ...
Landscapes, Sources and Intellectual Projects of the West African Past outlines new directions in the historiography of West Africa. Its chapters explore new trends across regional and disciplinary fields with a focus on how political conjunctures influence source production and circulation.
Smithsonian, January 4. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/Race-Save-Mali
-Artifacts-180947965/. ————. 2016. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts.
Author: Carl C. Anthony
Publisher: NYU Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
This book by Carl C. Anthony offers a new story about race and place intended to bridge long-standing racial divides. The long-ignored history of African-American contributions to American infrastructure and the modern economic system is placed in the larger context of the birth of the universe and the evolution of humanity in Africa. The author interweaves personal experiences as an architect/planner, environmentalist, and black American with urban history, racial justice, cosmology, and the challenge of healing the environmental and social damage that threatens the future of humankind. Thoughtful writing about race, urban planning, and environmental and social equity is sparked by stories of life as an African American child in post–World War II Philadelphia, a student and civil rights activist in 1960s Harlem, a traveling student of West African architecture and culture, and a pioneering environmental justice advocate in Berkeley and New York. This book will appeal to everyone troubled by racism and searching for solutions, including individuals exploring their identity and activists eager to democratize power and advance equitable policies in historically marginalized communities. This is a rich, insightful encounter with an American urbanist with a uniquely expansive perspective on human origins, who sets forth what he calls an “inclusive vision for a shared planetary future.”