Monday, May 25, 2020

Review: Mansa Musa: Emperor of The Wealthy Mali Empire by History Titans

Title: Mansa Musa: Emperor of The Wealthy Mali Empire
Author: History Titans
Publication: March 15th 2020
Genre: Nonfiction, History
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Rating: 3/5

If you're familiar with Mansa Musa you might expect the headline to read, 'Mansa Musa - the wealthiest person that ever lived.' But in reality, he was more than just a rich person. Every source or article would either emphasize the subject of Mansa Musa and his wealth, or his famous pilgrimage to Mecca. Even though his Hajj expedition was fascinating due to the numerous events that occurred during the journey, there are many more interesting stories about his life.
This book is about how he took over the throne, how his rule influenced the economy of the Mali Empire, and how his empire accumulated more wealth after his return. The book also covers the grandeur of cities like Timbuktu and Djenne that were converted into cultural and educational centers.
Mansa Musa was a generous king who contributed a lot of his wealth and efforts towards the development of the Empire of Mali. He brought a lot of people with him to build universities, schools, and mosques to spread educational values and make Timbuktu a learning center. He also played an important part in spreading the religion of Islam. If you're intrigued about his life tales and his impact on West Africa and the world, this book is the right source for you.

It's kind of hard to write a proper review of this book that will be useful to other readers because I didn't completely love it but altogether it wasn't a bad book either. So you see, I'm a little torn up about it all. Was it an okay read? Yes. Would I re-read it? No. Would I recommend it? Not really, unless you're already fascinating by this kind of history.

This book is about Musa I a.k.a. Mansa Musa, who was th tenth ruler of the Mali Empire. To be honest I thought I'd be more interested in the subject and everything but I've got to admit it couldn't entirely hook me. But at the same time this doesn't mean that there weren't intriguing things that I learned from the book. I will list those below. 

So again I'm going back and forth with it all. So let's just say that it was an okay read with some interesting facts about the history of the Mali Empire and leave it at that. I also want to say that although I didn't entirely love this book that doesn't mean others won't enjoy it more. West African history is a fascinating subject for sure, but it isn't something I'm drawn to naturally. Others might be, though. 

Some interesting facts I learned from the book:

  • It's believe that Mansa Musa's total worth was around $400 billion, which is a lot more than any billionaire in today's world.

  • He is known for his praiseworthy devotion to Islam and how he inspired trade, economic growth, and culture in Timbuktu.

  • The main religion of the Malian people was Islam, but everyone has the choice to follow the religion and belief system that they preferred.

  • The Mali Empire started to regress in the 1400s and was completely ruined around 1600 CE


  1. So the wealthiest person in the world was a West African king? That's brilliant -- I am sorry the book wasn't as good as you hoped, but i think the subject could be so fasncinating under the right hands.

  2. I've never heard of this figure before, but it does sound like an interesting history!

  3. It sounds like a really interesting time in history, but sorry the actual book didn't grab you.

  4. Sorry to hear this wasn’t as good as you were hoping for.

  5. Aw, sorry it wasn't a 5-star... You're really broadening my horizons on historical books!! :)

  6. I can see what you mean about this one not being entirely as captivating as you wanted it to be, but still having some interesting information which is nice to learn... Thanks for sharing those facts!

  7. So, probably not a book that I will pick up, but I am really intrigued by those facts! :)


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