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To Timbuktu for a Haircut: A Journey through West Africa

Antonson, Rick

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ISBN 10: 1620875675 / ISBN 13: 9781620875674
Published by Skyhorse Publishing 2013-07-01, 2013
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
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1620875675 Never used! Overstock from publisher with light wear to its edges from shelving. Bookseller Inventory # Z1620875675Z1

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Bibliographic Details

Title: To Timbuktu for a Haircut: A Journey through...

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing 2013-07-01

Publication Date: 2013

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Fine

Edition: 1.

About this title

Synopsis:

Timbuktu: the African city known to legend as a land of scholars, splendor and mystery, a golden age in the Sahara Desert. But to many it is a vaguely recognizable name – a flippant tag for “the most remote place on earth.” With this fabled city as his goal, author Rick Antonson began a month-long trek. His initial plan? To get a haircut.

Aided by an adventuresome spirit, Rick endures a forty-five hour train ride, a swindling travel agent, “Third World, three-lane” roads, rivers, and a flat deck ferry boat before finally reaching Timbuktu. Rick narrates the history of this elusive destination through the teachings of his Malian guide Zak, and encounters with stranded tourists, a camel owner, a riverboat captain, and the people who call Timbuktu home.

Antonson’s eloquence and quiet wit highlight the city’s myths—the centuries old capital and traveler’s dream—as well as its realities: A city gripped by poverty, where historic treasures lie close to the sands of destruction. Indeed, some 700,000 ancient manuscripts remain there, endangered. Both a travelogue and a history of a place long forgotten, To Timbuktu for a Haircut emerges as a plea to preserve the past and open cultural dialogues on a global scale.

The second edition of this important book outlines the volatile political situations in Timbuktu following the spring 2012 military coup in Mali and the subsequent capture of the city by Islamic extremists. Literally, it is a race against time to save the city’s irreplaceable artifacts, mosques, and monuments, and to understand why Timbuktu’s past is essential to the future of Africa.

From the Back Cover:

Historically rich, remote, and once unimaginably dangerous for travellers, Timbuktu still teases with "Find me if you can." Rick Antonson's encounters with entertaining train companions Ebou and Ussegnou, a mysterious cook called Nema, and intrepid guide Zak all make you want to pack up and leave for Timbuktu tomorrow.

As Antonson travels in Senegal and Mali by train, four-wheel drive, river pinasse, camel, and foot, he tells of fourteenth-century legends, eighteenth-century explorers, and today's endangered existence of Timbuktu's 700,000 ancient manuscripts in what scholars have described as the most important archaeological discovery since the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Think Eric Newby's A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush or Redmond O'Hanlon's Into the Heart of Borneo and you begin to see what kind of writer Rick Antonson is. To Timbuktu for a Haircut combines wry humour with shrewd observation to deliver an armchair experience that will linger in the mind long after the last page is read.

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Historically rich, remote, and once unimaginably dangerous for travellers, Timbuktu still teases with "Find me if you can." Rick Antonson's encounters with entertaining train companions Ebou and Ussegnou, a mysterious cook called Nema, and intrepid guide Zak all make you want to pack up and leave for Timbuktu tomorrow.

As Antonson travels in Senegal and Mali by train, four-wheel drive, river pinasse, camel, and foot, he tells of fourteenth-century legends, eighteenth-century explorers, and today's endangered existence of Timbuktu's 700,000 ancient manuscripts in what scholars have described as the most important archaeological discovery since the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Think Eric Newby's A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush or Redmond O'Hanlon's Into the Heart of Borneo and you begin to see what kind of writer Rick Antonson is. To Timbuktu for a Haircut combines wry humour with shrewd observation to deliver an armchair experience that will linger in the mind long after the last page is read.

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