I just finished reading Skeletons on the Zahara, by Dean King. The book is the true story of the shipwreck of the Commerce, an 18th century brig hailing from Middletown, Connecticut. They sailed down the Connecticut River to the open ocean with no idea of what was in store.
The horrors they faced in the dessert, surviving on camels milk, snails and the fleeting kindness of nomadic Arabs, helped me imagine some of the feelings the American journalists kidnapped by ISIS may have faced. As a 5-year-old boy, Abraham Lincoln read the source material, Captain James Riley’s memoir Sufferings in Africa, and it had a big effect. Lincoln would later state it was one of 3 books underpinning his political ideology as it related to slavery.