In 1955, just starting his career as a reporter, Kapuscinski wanted to travel just beyond the border of Poland. His editor sent him on assignment much farther afield, to China, Iran, and Africa, with a gift of Herodotus' Histories. In this amazing memoir, Kapuscinski compares his own wanderings to those of the Greek historian. He wonders about the motivation behind Herodotus' journeys, recounting how his own were spurred by unrest in Poland. Calling Herodotus the "first globalist," Kapuscinski uses his volume as comfort, solace, guide, and inspiration. He intersperses Herodotus' writings throughout his own musings at the modern world, comparing ancient Persia's Darius with the then shah of Iran. As he reads about and dreads the war between the Greeks and Persians, he covers the war in the Congo. Liberated by his travels, Kapuscinski nonetheless feels the impenetrability of the "Great Wall of Language" in China and all the barriers to overcoming xenophobia and nurturing an appreciation for diverse cultures. Kapuscinski's recollections are intimate and vibrant in his embrace of a broader world. Bush, Vanessa
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“Luminous. . . . Like Herodotus, Ryszard Kapuscinski was a reporter, a historian, an adventurer and, truly, an artist.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Enchanting. . . . Underneath its shimmering prose beats the unquiet heart of a fundamentally decent man and an uncommonly gifted observer. . . . It has a startling clarity and power.” —The New Republic
“A work of art: so eloquent, so simple, that you find yourself marveling at its prose….a travel book that all students of writing and of literature ought to read.” —The Washington Post Book World