This book is shaped like a calendar. Each day brings with it a story: a journey, feast or tragedy that really happened on that date, from all possible years and all corners of the world. From Abdul Kassem Ismail, the tenth-century Persian who never went anywhere without his library - all seventeen thousand books of it, on four hundred camels; to the Brazilian city of Sorocaba, which on February 8 1980 responded to the outlawing of public kissing by becoming one huge kissodrome; to July 1 2008, the day the US government decided to remove Nelson Mandela's name from its list of dangerous terrorists, Children of the Days takes aim at the pretensions of official history and illuminates moments and heroes that we have all but forgotten. Through this shimmering historical mosaic runs a common thread, one that joins humanity's darkest hours to its sweetest victories. Children of the Days is the story of our lives.