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The Storied City: The Quest for Timbuktu and the Fantastic Mission to Save Its Past

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The Storied City: The Quest For Timbuktu And The Fantastic Mission To Save Its Past

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.

"A fascinating interweaving of past and present: meticulously researched, powerfully written and riveting." " Ben Macintyre, author of Rogue Heroes and A Spy Among Friends


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.

Riverhead Books

Riverhead Books

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Charlie English

No of Pages
416
Publisher
Riverhead Books
ISBN-13
9781594634284
Awards
None
Book Format
Hardcover
Published Date
May 2, 2017

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