Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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
"A final gift, a call to wander widely and see deeply." Patrick Symmes, Outside
"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
"Extraordinary... Punctuated by wonder." Elizabeth Speller, Financial Times
"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. After graduating with a degree in history from Warsaw University, he was sent to India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to report for the Polish news, which began his lifelong fascination with the Third World. During his four decades reporting on Asia, Latin America, and Africa, he befriended Che Guevara, Salvador Allende, and Patrice Lumumba; witnessed twentyseven coups and revolutions; and was sentenced to death four times. He died in 2007.His earlier books--Shah of Shahs, The Emperor, Imperium, Another Day of Life, The Soccer War, and Shadow of the Sun--have been translated into nineteen languages.