Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Labyrinth of Kingdoms

A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa by Steve Kemper is a biography of the African explorer Heinrich Barth (1821–1865) one of the first Europeans to visit the fabled city Timbuktu in Mali. Though not completely free of the prejudices typical of his time, he treated the African people he encountered in his travels as individuals, recorded their names, their languages and histories and was fascinated by their cultures and way of life.  He respected and appreciated the highly developed civilizations he found in Africa - we should too.  They had their problems of course, but also impressive achievements.  A great adventure story!

Barth approaching Timbuktu