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Another Day of Life

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  1,063 ratings  ·  85 reviews
In 1975, Angola was tumbling into pandemonium; everyone who could was packing crates, desperate to abandon the beleaguered colony. With his trademark bravura, Ryszard Kapuscinski went the other way, begging his way from Lisbon and comfort to Luanda—once famed as Africa's Rio de Janeiro—and chaos.

Angola, a slave colony later given over to mining and plantations, was a promi
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Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 17th 2001 by Vintage (first published 1976)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,861)
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Sophie Heawood
I never thought a Polish journalist's first-hand account of civil war in Angola in the 1970s would be so beautifully written that I'd wake up in the night, turn the light on and have to finish the book, but it had me gripped like that. Am now an utter convert to Kapuscinski's writing about Africa. Astonishing.
Adam
Another Day of Life is beautiful, surreal, and tragic reportage from Angola at the bloody birth of that nation that is also imbued with a non-grating sense of something close to whimsy. The country dropped as a colony by the fleeing Portuguese is torn between three armies and their allies fighting a proxy war (Cuba, Zaire(now DRC,), South Africa.) Filled with wonderful described moments and written with sense of atmosphere and perfect details. The fine moments are almost too many to point out an ...more
Lorenzo Berardi
A few years ago I listened in awe to an excerpt from 'Another Day of Life' on an Italian online radio focused on books. As those pages revolving around a sieged Luanda were beautiful and poignant, I got interested in adding up another Kapuscinski to my increasing lot.

Then I moved abroad and as I had read all of my Kapuscinskis in Italian translation purchasing one of his books in English didn't seem quite right.
Back to Italy for a stopover inbetween the UK and Poland I've finally bought the lo
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Whassan
Another Day of Life is a very well-written account of very important but seldom remembered conflict in Angola that was really a war of ideology, filled with warrior-poets, opportunists revolutionaries and sell-outs. It recalls the enormous potential of of post-colonial africa without shying away from its practical failure. What Kapuscinski lacks is a more in-depth examination of the relationships in the conflict. The subtle themes are there but he could have gone further. Of particular interest ...more
César Lasso
EM PORTUGUÊS: Situado na Angola desgarrada pela guerra, nos meses prévios à declaração da independência, isto é também parte da história de Portugal, do imenso êxodo de meio milhão de Portugueses e dos que lá ficaram e decidiram abraçar a nova nacionalidade. E tudo, com o selo característico do sempre interessante Kapuściński.

IN ENGLISH: Set in a chaotic and war-torn Angola during the three months previous to the declaration of independence, this is also part of the history of Portugal.
The read
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Sergio Frosini
Diciamolo, inizialmente temevo fosse una delle solite operazioni "l'autore vendeva ed è morto, pubblichiamo anche le sue liste della spesa." Invece si tratta di uno dei tanti splendidi reportages africani di Kapuscinski, questa volta sulla guerra in Angola nel 1975.

Breve ma intenso racconto degli ultimi giorni dell'Angola portoghese, ancora non ufficialmente indipendente e trascinata dalla guerra coloniale alla guerra civile, alimentata fra gli altri dagli ingombranti vicini Zaire e Sudafrica. U

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Edward Oser
First time reading Kapuscinski. He's a Polish journalist who covered Africa for much of the last half of the Twentieth Century (among other places, I think he has a book on Iran as well), and this particular book covers the Angolan war for independence in the fall of 1975.

I picked it up randomly, and found myself immersed in a war that mattered intensely and briefly for the world at large, and rapidly became a parochial affair that has smoldered ever since. It's embarrassing to talk so bluntly
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Ed
Impressionistic account of the last days of Portuguese rule in the last European colony in Africa. Kapuściński was in Luanda, the capital and traveled around territory controlled (often temporarily) by the MPLA, the liberation movement that was supported by the USSR and Cuba. As a Warsaw Pact journalist his accreditation if not his sympathies were to them. The MPLA was at war with UNITA in the north which was supported by Mobutu's Zaire--and therefor by the U.S. and France which funded Mobutu fo ...more
Luís Paz da silva
Abordei este livro com elevadas expectativas, o que é sempre um erro. A culpa foi da Granta (nr. 1) onde li pela primeira vez algo deste autor e adorei. É difícil escrever sobre este livro. Ao chegar ao fim, a sensação é a de que faltam ali muitos capítulos, é tudo muito despachado para a frente e, nalgumas partes, superficial. Claro que o tema não é para brincadeiras e consigo imaginar o que terão sido aqueles dias para quem os viveu no palco e não meramente na plateia. Como muitos, recordo os ...more
Anna
A snapshot of Angolan history. In 1974, the Portuguese pulled out of their colony of Angola, leaving behind a leadership vacuum. White Portuguese colonists, eager to avoid what was likely to be a nasty civil war, scrambled to leave the country with their families. Here enters journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, who begs to be stationed in Angola's capital city, Luanda, so he can report on the conditions there. Kapuscinski spends several months living in a decrepit hotel with a handful of other Portu ...more
dead letter office
a polish journalist's account of the withdrawal of portugal from colonial angola and the beginning of angolan independence. this book is remarkable because the author is evidently a serious adrenaline junkie. before the advent of base jumping, i guess you had to become a journalist and insinuate yourself into the middle of a war zone to have a good time. the polish journalistic perspective on a post-colonial conflict (a hot front of the cold war) is also interesting. i haven't read that many acc ...more
Tom
I'm not born yesterday. I know that Kapuscinski played a deeper role in the MPLA than he would've liked to admit, and that much of his writing works as state propaganda. If you take his point of view with a grain of salt, you still have a memorable, fascinating look at the beginnings of the Angolan Civil War.

Oddly enough, a good companion piece/rebuttal might be the Jack Abramoff produced Dolph Lundgren action film "Red Scorpion".
Katrina Tan
Reminiscent of Philip Gourevitch's "We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda". Much less gore, more scattered fights with much less organisation. What is appalling is the narrative of the Portugese colonisation, its slave trade and the systematic destruction of Angola.

As with every genocide, internal war, the world waits and watches, respecting sovereign rights. But for 350 years...
Nicolas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
Kapuściński, to me, is the Polish, Cold War, War Correspondent version of Hunter S. Thompson... going to whatever lengths necessary to find the heart of darkness and bad craziness. Has the front disintegrated and is the South African army about to invade? Take me there!

Also, I don't know what it is about Polish authors being translated into English, but the book reads like poetry.
Keval
I read this book soon after putting down a memoir of sorts about another of Portugal's former colonies - East Timor. There are parallels in both countries, indeed in many countries, that were unshackling themselves from colonialism. Another Day of Life gives you enough information about the macro events but focuses on the details of war -- what it means to different people, the realities on the ground. Our author, too, throws himself into the scheme of things and faces death in equal measure. He ...more
David Bales
The late Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski's classic 1976 book about the unraveling of Angola in 1975 is a real treat. Kapuscinski made a career of journeying to troubled African countries under threat of war or revolution and was a first-hand witness to the collapse of Portuguese rule and the beginnings of Angola's long civil war, with factions backed by the United States and South Africa against factions backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba. Great descriptions of the tension of Luanda durin ...more
Tom Darrow
A good, although short, book about the outbreak of the Angolan Civil War. Focusing on the events of 1975, the author does a compelling job at describing the complicated and fragmented nature of the conflict. This book falls a little short in its organization, however... After over a hundred pages describing details of what life was like in Angola during these tense and confusing times, he finishes the book with a chapter of demographic, geographic and historical background of Angola. It would ha ...more
Mario Rufino
O meu texto para o Diário Digital sobre "mais um dia de vida" de Ryszard Kapuściński http://diariodigital.sapo.pt/news.asp...
Rachelfm
As always, Kapuscinski writes with immediacy and vulnerability while providing a lot of context. As one of the only foreign journalists in Angola in the last days before independence, he travels to fronts that are less lines on a map than pockets of a few soldiers in a truck.

Some of the most vivid descriptions are of the handful of people upon whom much depends; the octogenarian baker making daily bread at the front, the pilot who has no radio, no spare parts and no knowledge of who holds the ai
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Ian
I was about 16 when Ryszard Kapuscinski was covering this Cold War era conflict in Angola. Reading this provided me with a more detailed background to my limited knowledge that was based on BBC news reports of the time which mostly concentrated on the role of British mercenaries and the threat of the MPLA as backed by Castro's Cuba.

Kapuscinski, though embedded within the MPLA and leaning towards them politically, manages to present a fairly even handed view of the war. It's a pretty short book
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Rob
A classic of reportage, this book provides a staggering historical snapshot of a crucial turning point in global history - Angola, on the point of independence, serving as a theatre of war between the USA and USSR, with those superpowers' respective attack dogs - Apartheid era South Africa and Castro's Cuba - doing the dirty work by proxy.

That the country has since functioned to a degree thanks to oil riches and, latterly, Chinese philanthropy, as well as the tough mindedness of its own proud ci
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Mark Marquardt
Re-reading my favorite Kapuscinski books in conjunction with his newly released biography. Another Day of Life is up there with Michael Herr's Dispatches as one of the great impressionistic accounts of war. The Portugese are fleeing Angola as independence approaches, packing generations' of accumulated possessions -- right down to the curtains -- into enormous wooden crates. Three indigenous armies backed by various foreign powers are in a race to seize the capital, Luanda. Kapuscinski sketches ...more
M. Milner
A slim, spooky account of the Angolan Civil War, Another Day of Life is a dramatic and readable read, but it's also a little maddening too.

In 1975, Ryszard Kapuściński took the last plane flying into Luanda as the Portuguese fled the country and it seemed poised on the brink of civil war. He found himself in a country slowly withering away. He writes of seeing the country slowly packing itself up in wooden crates, of dogs roaming the streets and giant ships looming just off the coast, slowly dri
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Jim

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jim Sherman
Date: Oct 20, 2007 11:32 AM
Subject: graw
To: jim.sherman@gmail.com


Kapuscnski Another Day of Life

Crates, a city of crates that sails away
then checkpoints (1)
and then carlotta
then invasion and indepdence
then cubans
then seige of Luanda
then return home
after an unsatisfying audience with Neto
then home
and then DonaCartagina a weak leitmotif.

(1) True, the authority of Luanda is great -- but then doesn't the checkpoint also constitute authority? a
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Phil Williams
Sep 06, 2012 Phil Williams rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for a memorable impression of the tragic absurdity of modern war.
Before I read this book I knew almost nothing about Angola, and picked it up as part of my attempts to broaden my knowledge of Africa. By the time I reached the final chapter I still knew almost nothing about Angola, but had obtained a number of unforgettable images of the universal impacts of modern warfare.

Though the events take place in 1975, Kapusciniski's rather brief but memorable notes on the war in Angola have a timeless element. The abandoned city, the haphazard roadblocks and the uncer
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Michael
"People are sitting on bundles covered with plastic because it's drizzling. They are meditating, pondering everything. In this abandoned crowd that has been vegetating here for weeks, the spark of revolt sometimes flashes. Women beat up the soldiers designated to maintain order, and men try to hijack a plane to let the world know what despair they've been driven to. Nobody knows when they will fly out or in or in what direction. A cosmic mess prevails. Organization comes hard to the Portuguese, ...more
Anna
Reportage from Ryszard Kapuściński's journey to Angola in middle of 1970s. Til 1975 Angola was Portuguese colony. In 1975 after 14 years of guerilla fights Angola became independent country. Kapuściński showed the evacuation of the Portuguse who were living and working in Angola. Country was torn between three parties:
a) MPLA - Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola);
b) UNITA - União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (The National
...more
Anna
Reportage from Ryszard Kapuściński's journey to Angola in middle of 1970s. Til 1975 Angola was Portuguese colony. In 1975 after 14 years of guerilla fights Angola became independent country. Kapuściński showed the evacuation of the Portuguse who were living and working in Angola. Country was torn between three parties:
a) MPLA - Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola);
b) UNITA - União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (The National
...more
Mike
At his best Ryszard Kapuscinski does not write to us about the mystery of life; instead, he shows us something inexplicable and in it we recognize life. Another Day of Life describes the chaotic events he witnessed in Angola in 1975. Despite the impossibility of any sort of front that could be described by a line—the terrain fostered a conflict of points instead of shapes—sides have been chosen and the young are introduced to the fighting which will probably consume their lives. There is somethi ...more
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Ryszard Kapuściński debuted as a poet in Dziś i jutro at the age of 17 and has been a journalist, writer, and publicist. In 1964 he was appointed to the Polish Press Agency and began traveling around the developing world and reporting on wars, coups and revolutions in Asia, the Americas, and Europe; he lived through twenty-seven revolutions and coups, was jailed forty times, and survived four deat ...more
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