Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Conquest of the Sahara

The Conquest of the Sahara

A History

Douglas Porch

Farrar, Straus and Giroux




In The Conquest of the Sahara, Douglas Porch tells the story of France's struggle to explore and dominate the great African desert at the turn of the century. Focusing on the conquest of the Ahaggar Tuareg, a Berber people living in a mountain area in central Sahara, he goes on to describe the bizarre exploits of the desert's explorers and conquerors and the incompetence of the French military establishment. Porch summons up a world of oases, desert forts and cafés where customers paid the dancer by licking a one-franc piece and sticking it on her forehead.

The Conquest of the Sahara reveals the dark side of France's "civilizing mission" into this vast terrain, and at the same time, weaves a rich tale of extravagant hopes, genius and foolhardiness.


The Conquest of the Sahara

In the center of an earth which cartographers like to depict in blues and greens lies a substantial area of khaki that stares like an eye out of the globe. Even here in this...


Praise for The Conquest of the Sahara

The Conquest of the Sahara is almost everything a book should be-an adornment for your home, a blitz of information for your brain, a diversion and a hoot, and, finally, balm for your soul.” —The Los Angeles Times

“A bravura account...Readers with a taste for exotic popular history will savor Porch's wry sense of irony.” —Newsweek

“In this admirable book, Douglas Porch sets the record straight.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Porch is knowledgeable. . .and a fine writer with a dramatic style . . .[he] has done a superb job.” —The Boston Globe

“[Porch] presents a vivid blow-by-blow account of how this arid, inhospitable land was penetrated at a terrible cost.” —The San Francisco Chronicle

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Douglas Porch

Douglas Porch is a military historian and the author of The Path to Victory: The Mediterranean Theater in World War II (FSG, 2003). He is a professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Douglas Porch

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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