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THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
Travels with Herodotus is a memoir by the famous Polish journalist Ryzard Kapuscinski chronicling his travels as a foreign correspondent across India, Africa, Asia and South America. His first boss gave him a copy of Herodotus’ The Histories, a book that inspired him deeply and helped shape his own perspective on world events and on humanity. Herodotus was a Greek historian from the 5th century BC who is often called the “Father of History”; he was the first known to investigate and organize his findings systematically, much like a reporter. Kapuscinski is an incredibly eloquent writer with an insatiable curiosity. His narrative is compelling as a travelogue, and his perspective on global topics like the clash of Islam and Christianity is empathetic and insightful.
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OTHER BOOKS BY RYSZARD KAPUSCINSKI
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GREAT QUOTES FROM TRAVELS WITH HERODOTUS
“A journey, after all, neither begins in the instant we set out, nor ends when we have reached our door step once again. It starts much earlier and is really never over, because the film of memory continues running on inside of us long after we have come to a physical standstill. Indeed, there exists something like a contagion of travel, and the disease is essentially incurable.”
“We do not really know what draws a human being out into the world. Is it curiosity? A hunger for experience? An addiction to wonderment? The man who ceases to be astonished is hollow, possessed of an extinguished heart. If he believes that everything has already happened, that he has seen it all, then something most precious has died within him—the delight in life.”
- Read a fantastic review on Travels with Herodotus in the Guardian, written by travel writer Sara Wheeler in 2007.
- Or, to learn more about Kapuscinski, read his obituary from the Guardian after his death in 2007.
- The only work directly attributed to Herodotus is The Histories, detailing the rise of the Persian empire and war with Greece. This classic book is considered the first true work of Western literature.
- Learn more about Herodotus either from History.com, or from the YouTube video below.