Listed below are some wonderful books about Mali, its people, cultures, politics, and history. Most are scholarly and written in English. If you’d like to recommend a book that doesn’t appear here, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page.


Camilla Toulmin, Land, Investment and Migration: Thirty-five Years of Village Life in Mali.

Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos, Une Guerre Perdue : La France au Sahel.


Michael Gomez, African Dominion: A New History of Empire in Early and Medieval West Africa.


Rosa de Jorio, Cultural Heritage in Mali in the Neoliberal Era.


Jaimie Bleck, Education and Empowered Citizenship in Mali.

Ryan Skinner, Bamako Sounds: The Afropolitan Ethics of Malian Music.

Greg Mann, From Empire to NGOs in the West African Sahel: The Road to Nongovernmentality.


Sarah Brett-Smith, The Silence of the Women: Bamana Mud Cloths in Mali.

Jean-Christophe Notin, La Guerre de la France au Mali.


Andy Morgan, Music, Culture, and Conflict in Mali.


Dorothea Schulz, Muslims and New Media in West Africa: Pathways to God

Judith Scheele, Smugglers and Saints of the Sahara: Regional Connectivity in the Twentieth Century.


Robert Fowler, A Season in Hell: My 130 Days in the Sahara with Al Qaeda.

Cheick M. Chérif Keita, Outcast to Ambassador: The Musical Odyssey of Salif Keita.

Brian J. Peterson, Islamization from Below: The Making of Muslim Communities in Rural French Sudan, 1880-1960.


Baz Lecocq, Disputed Desert: Decolonisation, Competing Nationalisms and Tuareg Rebellions in Northern Mali.


Marie Rodet. Les migrantes ignorées du Haut-Sénégal (1900-1946).


Molly Roth, Ma Parole S’achête: Money, Identity, and Meaning in Malian Jeliya.

Daouda Gary-Tounkara, Migrants soudanais/maliens et conscience ivoirienne : Les étrangers en Côte d’Ivoire (1903-1980).


Kris Holloway, Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali.


Benjamin F. Soares, Islam and the Prayer Economy: History and Authority in a Malian Town.


Saskia Brand, Mediating Means and Fate: A Socio-Political Analysis of Fertility and Demographic Change in Bamako, Mali.


Banning Eyre, In Griot Time: An American Guitarist in Mali.

4 Responses to Bookshelf

  1. Marie says:

    I believe it’s Andy Morgan and not Martin.
    You can also add my book: Les migrantes ignorées du Haut-Sénégal (1900-1960) (Paris: Karthala).

    • brucewhitehouse says:

      Nothing wrong with a little self-promotion… and you’re right, I’ll fix Andy’s last name. Andy Martin is a different writer!

  2. Marie says:

    Daouda Gary-Tounkara (2008) Migrants soudanais/maliens et conscience ivoirienne. Les étrangers en Côte d’Ivoire (1903-1980 ). Paris: L’Harmattan.

  3. Hello Bruce, I’ve been enjoying your blog, and just wondered if you might be interested in my book, which is coming out soon. It’s called ‘The Timbuktu School for Nomads’, and it’s about my journeys in Morocco, Mauritania and especially Mali. It delves into the history and culture of various nomadic communities, from the Tuareg and Berabiche around Timbuktu, to Fulani communities in Central Mali, Bozo on the Niger and Moors, Saharawis & Berber/Amazighen in Mauritania and Morocco. Cheers, Nick

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