"Fire From Timbuktu: A Dialogue With History" is a short account of Africa—pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial, with much of its contents drawn from the famous ancient city of Timbuktu, and then used to appropriate contemporary issues on the continent. In other words, Africa is what it is because of Timbuktu and her history, obliterated by European Barbarians. It is one of those books that come into existence for the simple purpose of correcting a misnomer along the line of history. The author, Karamoh Kabba, committed himself to restoring the definitional character of Timbuktu, seeking to redefine black civilization; that is, in addition to that city's reputation of great wealth and sound education. A good name, it is said, is better than riches.