CONQUEST OF THE SAHARA
Douglas Porch (2005 edition by Farrar Straus Giroux)
An intriguing and readable account of France’s attempts to colonise the Sahara during the ‘Scramble for Africa’ in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Full of historical detail, it vividly describes the vainglorious expeditions, large and small, which staggered across the desert, often poorly led and suffering greatly for personal prestige and their country’s honour. The extraordinary shambles of the doomed Flatters expeditions has to be read to be believed. This description refers to the original 1986 edition.