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“The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu” — Joshua Hammer in conversation with James Romm

November 1, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Join the New York Public Library on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 6:30pm for an evening with journalist Joshua Hammer to discuss his new book, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, with James Romm.

In 2012, thousands of Al Qaeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali, including Timbuktu. They imposed Sharia law, chopped off the hands of accused thieves, stoned to death unmarried couples, and threatened to destroy the great manuscripts. As the militants tightened their control over Timbuktu, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts and volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali.

Over the past 20 years, journalist Joshua Hammer has visited Timbuktu numerous times and is uniquely qualified to tell the story of Haidara’s heroic and ultimately successful effort to outwit Al Qaeda and preserve Mali’s—and the world’s—literary patrimony. Hammer explores the city’s manuscript heritage and offers never-before-reported details about the militants’ march into northwest Africa. But above all, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is an inspiring account of the victory of art and literature over extremism.

This program is free, but advance registration is recommended and preference will be given to those registered in advance.

Celeste Auditorium
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street)
New York, NY 10018


November 1, 2016
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


NY Public Library’s Celeste Auditorium
476 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street)
New York, NY United States