Sandstorm: the fall of Muammar Qaddafi

In Sandstorm, Lindsey Hilsum adeptly chronicles the bizarreness and savagery of the Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi¿s 42-year reign.

Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution
Lindsey Hilsum
Faber and Faber
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As a distinguished TV news correspondent, Lindsey Hilsum was an eyewitness to the bloody events that led to Muammar Qaddafi's downfall last year.

By drawing on her reportage of the conflict, as well as numerous pre-revolutionary visits to the country, she has moulded this all into a masterful account of the origins of this popular uprising and how it morphed into all-out civil war.

Her book also adeptly chronicles the bizarreness and savagery of the dictator's 42-year reign; from his acquisition of power as a dashing, charismatic army officer in 1969, right up until the hour he was dragged from a storm drain in the Libyan desert, tortured and then shot.

Into this, she weaves riveting first-hand accounts from ordinary Libyan citizens, including some who suffered cruel persecution at the hands of Qaddafi's security forces, to others who played pivotal roles in sparking and coordinating the uprising.

So, while there already appears to be a glut of literature about the Libyan revolution rapidly appearing in print, to date this might be the definitive account of how Qaddafi met his demise.

* Hugo Berger