Books: Abyssinia's Moat

HELLHOLE OF CREATION—L. M. Nesbitt—Knopf ($3.75).

If Mussolini's cheering troops had to footslog their way into Abyssinia from the blanketing coast of Eritrea, their cheers would not last long after they hit the Danakil. A natural moat, 400 miles long and 150 wide, it roughly parallels the Abyssinian border, sinks to 400 feet below sea level, boasts temperatures as high as 156° in the shade. Before Explorer Nesbitt, no white man had ever succeeded in crossing it, though three expeditions had tried. In Hell-Hole of Creation he tells how he and two...

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