Travels with Herodotus

Title: Travels with Herodotus

Author: Ryszard Kapuscinski

Translator:  Klara Glowczewska

Publisher: Knopf

Date of Publication: June 2007

Language: English

ISBN: 978-1400043385

Price: USD$16.50 to $25.00

Description : 288pp hardcover

Availability: and

Book Release from Publisher

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.

Book Review
by Jonathan Carr

Two Masters of Allusion

The last major work to be published by Ryszard Kapuscinski, the Polish-born aficionado of trouble spots (he reported on 27 coups and revolutions around the world) is an account of his gratitude to the man he revered as his teacher and guide, the "wise, experienced Greek"--Herodotus. In Travels with Herodotus we are treated not just to a beguiling weave of the political and military machinations of ancient Greece and the second half of the 20th century that is in itself unique but also to an intelligent inquiry into what Kapuscinski has elsewhere dubbed the "mystery of history." The book is an affirmation, at times a defence, of his lifelong journalistic principles. Early on, we are reminded that he grew up in a totalitarian state where there was an "obsession with allusion" and he is quick to state that his idol from Halicarnassus was a master of the art. Read entire review.

(Posting date 01-18-08)

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