The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer

The story is an amazing one, and I am glad I learned about this astounding group of people lead by a man who managed to save cultural artifacts and historic documents from jihadists.

The story is real, but it can feel a bit disjointed because it is the reporter telling the stories of what others did and putting it in context. The first person is only used when the author refers to who he interviewed. Many of the details are left out, because the people involved still are under threat or revealing the details could get someone involved in trouble. This is an amazing story, but it could be better in a few years when more details about the actual smuggling operation could be revealed.

If you are thinking of listening to the book on audible or something similar, I highly recommend it. If you can borrow this book from the library I highly recommend it. If you have to buy the book to read it, I am on the fence about recommending it or highly recommending it. This is a good piece of history to learn and would be great for those learning African history, Muslim history, French history, and the history of how they combined in this one region. The book doesn’t provide the details a reader hopes for but does a great job of explaining the context and how amazing the feat of saving and smuggling of 300,000 text out of an Al Queda controlled region is.

Overall, a good read and great history to learn, not sure I would buy this book again.

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