Dreadfully Ever After Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing



On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$10.50
List price: $15.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton World History- Russia
1 Burnside Travel Writing- General
1 Hawthorne Travel Writing- General
2 Local Warehouse Travel Writing- General
1 Local Warehouse World History- Russia

This title in other editions

Travels with Herodotus (Vintage International)

by

Travels with Herodotus (Vintage International) Cover

 

Staff Pick

Several months ago, I happened upon a copy of The Shadow of the Sun. From its opening pages, I understood why I'd been hearing such laudatory praise about Ryszard Kapuściński for years — here was some of the most astonishing travel writing I'd ever encountered. Copy-whole-passages-into-a-notebook astonishing. So it was with no small excitement that I sought out Travels with Herodotus, in which Kapuściński recounts his first excursions beyond the Iron Curtain, 50 years ago, to India and China, to Egypt and the Congo and Iran, toting a copy of Herodotus's Histories in-hand.

Herodotus wanted to know why cultures wage war against each other. The far roaming Greek writer was "the first to discover the world's multicultural nature," Kapuściński writes, "the first to argue that each culture requires acceptance and understanding, and that to understand it, one must first come to know it." As Kapuściński describes his own initial, awkward encounters with cultures utterly unlike his native Poland, Herodotus emerges as a journalistic model and moral compass, giving direction and purpose to the green writer's burgeoning body of work.

Herodotus is never shocked at difference, never condemns it; rather, he tries to learn about it and describe it. Difference? It serves by some paradox only to emphasize a greater oneness, speaking to its vitality and richness.

All the while he returns to his great passion, his obsession almost: reproaching his kinsmen for their pride, their conceitedness, their belief in their own superiority (it is from the Greek that the word "barbarian" comes, from the word "barbaros," signifying someone who does not speak Greek but rather something garbled, incomprehensible, and who by the same token is a lower, inferior being). It was the Greeks who later instilled in other Europeans this tendency to turn one's nose, and Herodotus fights the impulse every step of the way. And he does so when juxtaposing Greeks and Egyptians — as if purposely traveling to Egypt to gather there material and proof for his philosophy of moderation, modesty, and common sense.

The result is stunning. Travels offers both a compulsively readable portrait of Kapuściński's formative years and a timeless commentary on international conflict.
Recommended by Dave, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the master of literary reportage whose acclaimed books include Shah of Shahs, The Emperor, and The Shadow of the Sun, an intimate account of his first youthful forays beyond the Iron Curtain.

Just out of university in 1955, Kapuscinski told his editor that he'd like to go abroad. Dreaming no farther than Czechoslovakia, the young reporter found himself sent to India. Wide-eyed and captivated, he would discover in those days his life's work — to understand and describe the world in its remotest reaches, in all its multiplicity. From the rituals of sunrise at Persepolis to the incongruity of Louis Armstrong performing before a stone-faced crowd in Khartoum, Kapuscinski gives us the non-Western world as he first saw it, through still-virginal Western eyes.

The companion on his travels: a volume of Herodotus, a gift from his first boss. Whether in China, Poland, Iran, or the Congo, it was the "father of history" — and, as Kapuscinski would realize, of globalism — who helped the young correspondent to make sense of events, to find the story where it did not obviously exist. It is this great forerunner's spirit — both supremely worldly and innately Occidental — that would continue to whet Kapuscinski's ravenous appetite for discovering the broader world and that has made him our own indispensable companion on any leg of that perpetual journey.

Review:

"A year ago, while on an official visit to Ethiopia, I was given a tour of the Imperial Palace in Addis Ababa by the president. He showed me the treasure vaults in the basement where ancient Ethiopian crowns sit alongside other national treasures, including a vial of moon dust presented by NASA and a signed portrait of JFK, furnished by Jackie O. And I was taken into the bedroom of Emperor Haile Selassie,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Kapucinski's rapture is contagious... In this dramatic telling by one of modernity's ablest chroniclers, Herodotus stands for democracy, openness, and tolerance. The same can be said of the equally enigmatic, and certain to be missed, author." Lawrence Osborne, Men's Vogue

Review:

"A final gift, a call to wander widely and see deeply." Patrick Symmes, Outside

Review:

"An apt concluding chapter to Kapucinski's corpus, an attempt by a consummate observer to account for the route traced by his own life via the great Greek traveler and proto-historian. The two men, separated by 2 millenniums, shared a compulsive, openhearted curiosity... Who better to write about a man who could not sit still than a man who could not get still?" Ben Ehrenreich, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Review:

"Extraordinary... Punctuated by wonder." Elizabeth Speller, Financial Times

Review:

"Personally revealing... Kapucinski is not often didactic and never triumphalist. His luminous narratives are filled with odd juxtapositions and the ambiguities of real experience... Like Herodotus, Ryszard Kapucinski was a reporter, a historian, an adventurer and, truly, an artist." Matthew Kaminski, The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Ryszard Kapuscinski, Poland's most celebrated foreign correspondent, was born in 1932 in Pinsk (in what is now Belarus) and spent four decades reporting on Asia, Latin America, and Africa. He is also the author of Imperium, Another Day of Life, and The Soccer War. His books have been translated into twenty-eight languages. Kapuscinski died in 2007.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400078783
Author:
Kapuscinski, Ryszard
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Translator:
Glowczewska, Klara
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Ancient - Greece
Subject:
Kapuscinski, Ryszard
Subject:
Herodotus
Subject:
Kapuscinski, Ryszard - Travel
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Subject:
travel;history;journalism;memoir;non-fiction;herodotus;africa;india;poland;china;travel writing;greece;ancient history;reportage;travelogue;travel literature;biography;autobiography;asia;polish;ancient greece;essays;middle east;travels;polish literature;r
Subject:
travel;history;journalism;memoir;herodotus;non-fiction;africa;india;poland;china;travel writing;greece;reportage;ancient history;polish;travelogue;travel literature;biography;asia;autobiography;middle east;ancient greece;essays;reisen;iran;polish literatu
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage International
Publication Date:
20080631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
7.98x5.38x.62 in. .46 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Shadow of the Silk Road Used Hardcover $8.50
  2. The Last Mughal: The Fall of a...
    Used Trade Paper $10.00
  3. Blackwater: The Rise of the World's...
    Used Hardcover $7.50
  4. Out Stealing Horses
    Used Trade Paper $3.50
  5. The God Delusion
    Used Hardcover $8.50
  6. The Night Before Christmas in Oregon Used Hardcover $2.50

Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » World History » Ancient Near East
» History and Social Science » World History » Russia
» Travel » Travel Writing » General

Travels with Herodotus (Vintage International) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9781400078783 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Several months ago, I happened upon a copy of The Shadow of the Sun. From its opening pages, I understood why I'd been hearing such laudatory praise about Ryszard Kapuściński for years — here was some of the most astonishing travel writing I'd ever encountered. Copy-whole-passages-into-a-notebook astonishing. So it was with no small excitement that I sought out Travels with Herodotus, in which Kapuściński recounts his first excursions beyond the Iron Curtain, 50 years ago, to India and China, to Egypt and the Congo and Iran, toting a copy of Herodotus's Histories in-hand.

Herodotus wanted to know why cultures wage war against each other. The far roaming Greek writer was "the first to discover the world's multicultural nature," Kapuściński writes, "the first to argue that each culture requires acceptance and understanding, and that to understand it, one must first come to know it." As Kapuściński describes his own initial, awkward encounters with cultures utterly unlike his native Poland, Herodotus emerges as a journalistic model and moral compass, giving direction and purpose to the green writer's burgeoning body of work.

Herodotus is never shocked at difference, never condemns it; rather, he tries to learn about it and describe it. Difference? It serves by some paradox only to emphasize a greater oneness, speaking to its vitality and richness.

All the while he returns to his great passion, his obsession almost: reproaching his kinsmen for their pride, their conceitedness, their belief in their own superiority (it is from the Greek that the word "barbarian" comes, from the word "barbaros," signifying someone who does not speak Greek but rather something garbled, incomprehensible, and who by the same token is a lower, inferior being). It was the Greeks who later instilled in other Europeans this tendency to turn one's nose, and Herodotus fights the impulse every step of the way. And he does so when juxtaposing Greeks and Egyptians — as if purposely traveling to Egypt to gather there material and proof for his philosophy of moderation, modesty, and common sense.

The result is stunning. Travels offers both a compulsively readable portrait of Kapuściński's formative years and a timeless commentary on international conflict.

"Review" by , "Kapucinski's rapture is contagious... In this dramatic telling by one of modernity's ablest chroniclers, Herodotus stands for democracy, openness, and tolerance. The same can be said of the equally enigmatic, and certain to be missed, author."
"Review" by , "A final gift, a call to wander widely and see deeply."
"Review" by , "An apt concluding chapter to Kapucinski's corpus, an attempt by a consummate observer to account for the route traced by his own life via the great Greek traveler and proto-historian. The two men, separated by 2 millenniums, shared a compulsive, openhearted curiosity... Who better to write about a man who could not sit still than a man who could not get still?"
"Review" by , "Extraordinary... Punctuated by wonder."
"Review" by , "Personally revealing... Kapucinski is not often didactic and never triumphalist. His luminous narratives are filled with odd juxtapositions and the ambiguities of real experience... Like Herodotus, Ryszard Kapucinski was a reporter, a historian, an adventurer and, truly, an artist."
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.