Sandstorm, By Lindsey Hilsum


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The Independent Culture

From the slew of books on the Arab Spring, Hilsum’s account of Gaddafi’s fall stands out for background, detail and sheer readability.

In his Twenties, the Zelig-like Gaddafi radiated a rock-star charisma after the overthrow of dreary King Idris. Forty years on, he “seemed like a character from an old movie.”

Worse still, his sons were duplicating his template. While Gaddafi’s harem was headed by a “voluptuous” Ukrainian, his son Mutassim had a fling with a Playboy centerfold.

For both, the posing ended when they were dragged from a storm drain and brutally murdered.