The Book Smugglers of TimbuktuBy Charlie English

Set in the country of Mali during the jihad invasion of 2012, this book describes the heroic actions of librarians in smuggling historical manuscripts out of Timbuktu and moving them further south for safekeeping.

Many of the rescued manuscripts were Islamic in origin, but others contained poetry, mathematics, science and other intellectual subjects. 

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The story alternates between 2012, and uncovering the history of the area’s exploration by Europeans. Following explorers back as far as the 1700’s, gradual evidence is uncovered negating the then popular conception of Africans as illiterate and uneducated.

Later in the book, the veracity of the story is questioned without definite conclusion.  Regardless of whether all details are correct or not, enough of it is true to be worth recording as an incredible part of our world’s history.

For another perspective on the same topic try The Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer.

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