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The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu [Large Print]
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"I've long known that the versatile Joshua Hammer could drop into the midst of a war or political conflict anywhere in the world and make sense of it. But he has outdone himself this time, and found an extraordinary, moving story of a quiet--and successful--act of great bravery in the face of destructive fanaticism."--Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost and To End All Wars "Hammer has pulled off the truly remarkable here--a book that is both important and a delight to read. "The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu" is the wonderfully gripping story of Abdel Kader Haidara and the hundreds of ordinary Malians who, at great personal danger, endeavored to save the ancient fabled manuscripts of Timbuktu from destruction by Islamic jihadists. It is also an inspirational reminder that, even as the forces of barbarism extend their thrall across so much of the Muslim world, there are still those willing to risk everything to preserve civilization. A superb rendering of a story that needs to be told."--Scott Anderson, author of Lawrence in Arabia "On one level, " The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu" is a thriller that revolves around one long chase scene, as librarian race through the deserts of Mali trying to salvage a trove of precious manuscripts from jihadists hell-bent on their destruction. The stakes in this chase are no less than civilization itself. On another level, Joshua Hammer's book is about a struggle between Islamic ideologies--one jihadist, inflexible and violent, and the other open and intellectual. Joshua Hammer's book could not be more relevant to today's events."--Barbara Demick, author of Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea I ve long known that the versatile Joshua Hammer could drop into the midst of a war or political conflict anywhere in the world and make sense of it. But he has outdone himself this time, and found an extraordinary, moving story of a quiet and successful act of great bravery in the face of destructive fanaticism. --Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost and To End All Wars" Hammer has pulled off the truly remarkable here a book that is both important and a delight to read. "The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu" is the wonderfully gripping story of Abdel Kader Haidara and the hundreds of ordinary Malians who, at great personal danger, endeavored to save the ancient fabled manuscripts of Timbuktu from destruction by Islamic jihadists. It is also an inspirational reminder that, even as the forces of barbarism extend their thrall across so much of the Muslim world, there are still those willing to risk everything to preserve civilization. A superb rendering of a story that needs to be told. --Scott Anderson, author of Lawrence in Arabia" On one level, " The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu" is a thriller that revolves around one long chase scene, as librarian race through the deserts of Mali trying to salvage a trove of precious manuscripts from jihadists hell-bent on their destruction. The stakes in this chase are no less than civilization itself. On another level, Joshua Hammer s book is about a struggle between Islamic ideologies one jihadist, inflexible and violent, and the other open and intellectual. Joshua Hammer s book could not be more relevant to today s events. --Barbara Demick, author of Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea" "A picaresque and mysterious adventure that rushes across the strife-torn landscape of today s Mali, "The Bad-Ass Librarians" tells the unlikely but very real story of a band of bookish heroes from Timbuktu and their desperate race past dangerous checkpoints, through deserts, and often in the dead of night to save a culture and a civilization from destruction. Josh Hammer has seen firsthand how ordinary people can respond with extraordinary heroism when faced with evil. He also gives us a dramatic example of what it means to stick with a story; he knows this one from the beginnings in the late 1300s up until the present day, with its extremism and acts of cultural repression and erasure. Hammer has an unerring sense of what matters and his storytelling is impassioned and fun at the same time."--Amy Wilentz, author of Farewell, Fred Voodoo" "A completely engrossing adventure with a sharp--and prescient--political edge. Josh Hammer, a veteran correspondent of numerous conflict zones, tells a fascinating story about the quest to save Timbuktu s priceless Islamic writings from the grasp of jihadists. This is an entertaining, and extremely timely, book about the value of art and history and the excesses of religious extremism."--Janet Reitman, author of Inside Scientology" This is, simply, a fantastic story, one that has been beautifully told by Josh Hammer, who knows and loves Mali like some farmers know their back forty. At a time of unprecedented cultural destruction taking place across the Muslim world, Abdel Kader Haidara, the savior of Timbuktu's ancient manuscripts and this book's main character, is a true hero. If you are feeling despair about the fate of the world, "The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu" is a must-read, and a welcome shot in the arm. --Jon Lee Anderson, author of The Fall of Baghdad"

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