Travels with Herodotus

Ryszard Kapuściński
Introduced by Margaret Atwood

From the civil wars in Africa to revolutions in the Middle East, if there was a major news story during the Cold War Ryszard Kapuściński was there, always with a copy of Herodotus' Histories in his luggage. In this fascinating memoir Kapuściński compares his experiences with those of Herodotus writing more than 1,500 years before him.

During a brief period of political 'thaw' in Poland following Stalin’s death in 1953, a young reporter named Ryszard Kapuściński dreamed of being allowed to leave the country – not to go as far as Paris or London, but simply to cross the border. A year after he confessed his desire to his editor, the terrified Kapuściński was sent to India. He knew almost nothing about life in other countries; his only frame of reference was his copy of Herodotus’ Histories. He returned overwhelmed by the experience, embarrassed by his ignorance, but determined to see the world.

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