This week on Well Read, journalist Joshua Hammer will be speaking with hosts Elisa Jaffe and Mary Anne Gwinn about his latest work of historical nonfiction, released in April, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts (2016). In it, Hammer, a foreign freelance correspondent and ex-Newsweek bureau chief, follows the impossible journey of Malian archivist Abdel Kader Haidara as he—and a plucky band of librarians—work to rescue thousands of ancient manuscripts from the clutches of Al Qaeda militants. In the video clip above, Hammer discusses the terror of the treks—”660 miles by [desert] road . . . jihadi checkpoints . . . hostile government soldiers”—and the “couriers” who braved them.
To watch his full conversation with Jaffe and Gwinn, check your public television affiliate’s schedule and World Channel beginning this Friday, June 17th.
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