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Travels with Herodotus

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  3,954 Ratings  ·  376 Reviews
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. W
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by Knopf (first published September 28th 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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William1
This is part exegesis of The Histories and part memoir of the author's own experiences as he traveled to the places Herodotus visited and wrote about. Kapuściński always carried a copy of Herodotus with him and it's interesting to get his views of Egypt or Lybia or Persia or Scythia more than 2,400 years after those of the 'Father of history.'
Richard
Oct 07, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it
Recommended to Richard by: Excellent review in The Economist
(The review in the Economist which recommended this book to me is here, and their obituary of Kapuściński is also available, here.)

I’ve recently been categorizing my reading material into “fast” and “slow”, but after reading Kapuściński’s Travels with Herodotus I think I need to rethink the “slow” category.

Fast books are those that pull you along without any effort — page-turners. Slow books are those that take more time. Sometimes when I glance at the stack of books waiting their turn on the be
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Bettie☯
Description: 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
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Quân Khuê
Chỉ có đọc lại mới đáng kể - một nhà nào đó đã nói về việc đọc sách, chính xác lại là "đọc lại sách", như thế.

Một nhà nào đó khác đã nói, nếu một cuốn sách không xứng đáng để đọc lại, thì mắc mới gì phải cầm nó lên và đọc lần đầu tiên.

Tôi, một mặt "quán triệt" những lời thông thái trên; mặt khác do tính ham của lạ nên hay đọc tứ tung, tuy vậy hằng năm đều dành thời gian để đọc lại một số cuốn mà tôi thấy đáng để đọc lại. Hiện, tôi đang đọc lại cuốn Du hành cùng Herodotus của nhà báo Ba Lan Rysza
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Yann
Nov 25, 2015 Yann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: exploration, pologne


Ryszard Kapuściński est un journaliste polonais qui a roulé sa bosse à travers le vaste terrain d'affrontement et de rivalité pour la guerre froide qu'à offert le tiers-monde décolonisé. Dans ce livre, il entremêle des allusions à ses différents voyages avec une présentation de l’œuvre d'Hérodote: l'Enquête, Historie en grec. Je suis un admirateur de l’œuvre d'Hérodote, car elle a été pour moi la clef par laquelle j'ai découvert l'antiquité, l'hellénisme et les belles lettres. Mais si je partage
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Emanuela
Non avrei avuto il coraggio di affrontare "Le Storie" di Erodoto anche se ne sono sempre stata incuriosita. La mediazione che ne fa Kapuscinski merita perché l'autore le inframmezza alle proprie esperienze di reporter che desidera con tutte le proprie forze varcare i confini e vedere cosa c'è oltre la propria nazione, la Polonia.

Così le guerre persiane raccontate dal greco si alternano ai primi viaggi del polacco in India, Cina, Africa nella seconda metà del secolo scorso caratterizzata, come ne
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Jimmy
Nov 26, 2010 Jimmy rated it liked it
Sometimes here on Goodreads I'll read a review that combines an actual review of the book and a personal narrative (where the reviewer might tell you a story of how they came upon the book, or some experience they had a while ago that has parallels to the book they are reviewing). The strategy has its advantages, and it usually at least makes for an entertaining read.

Reading Travels with Herodotus was like reading such a book review about The Histories by Herodotus. But much longer.

Ryszard Kapus
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Zaara
Mar 02, 2015 Zaara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every journey begins with a reckoning, a stocktaking, an analysis of where one is. And each trip consists of two parts: the inner journey and the outer one. This book of travel/reportage/historical commentary/philosophy/anthropology is no different. Only it contains several trips. Or perhaps just one BIG trip. Depends on how you want to look at it, I guess.
In fact, I hesitate to use the word ‘book’ after my motley categorization. This is more a collection of images accompanied by the patchwork m
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Martine
I love travelogues. I love classical antiquity. So I really expected to enjoy Ryszard Kapuscinski's Travels with Herodotus, an attempt to mix modern literary reportage with the writings of one of the greatest travelling reporters of all time, Herodotus. Sadly, however, the book was a bit of letdown. The old and new stuff didn't blend well, so the final result, while occasionally poignant and insightful, was a little underwhelming.

Maybe I went in with the wrong expectations. When I bought the bo
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Bach Tran Quang
Aug 06, 2015 Bach Tran Quang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2 hành trình song song, 1 của nhà báo trẻ Ryszard, 1 của tay "phượt" - phóng viên - người ghi chép - đầu tiên của thế giới Herodotus.

2 hành trình gắn bó mật thiết với nhau, và quả là Ryszard đã thật sự thay đổi quan niệm của người đọc về tác phẩm phi hư cấu là như thế nào.

Cuốn sách này có quá nhiều trích đoạn hay, và những trích đoạn ấy được "trích đoạn" lại bởi một nhà báo với đôi mắt đủ sáng suốt, mộng mơ và từng trải. Có thể gói gọn ở trong một câu thế này về hành trình của con người:

"Những c
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Lyn Elliott
Curiosity about humanity permeates this book, an interweaving of memoir, readings and reflection. Listening, recording, acute observation, inquiring, wanting to understand what was happening in the present and the past drove both Herodotus and Kapuściński, 2500 years apart.

Ryszard Kapuściński’s career as a Polish reporter posted in foreign countries began in India, followed by China then Africa. India was his first encounter with otherness, the experience of a different world. It was then he re
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Alex
Jan 07, 2016 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, rth-lifetime
I read Herodotus earlier this year, and among other things I thought, "What the hell just happened?" It's a long book, y'know? Everything happens in it. I mean literally everything: Herodotus's goal was to write down everything known about the world, and over 700 pages, that's what he did. It gets mind-boggling.

I needed someone to help me process all that, so I turned to Kapuscinski, the great travel writer and philosopher responsible for The Emperor, a neat oral history of Haile Selassie, as we
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Daren
This was Ryszard Kapuściński's last book, written shortly before he died in 2007.

It is a work of retrospect - he isn't writing about recent events, or his recent thoughts, but writes about his own past and ties it to a book which inspired him - The Histories, by Herodotus.
It is a book written from a position of knowledge, often about the times where he was far from knowledgeable - a young Polish journalist, sent from the recently opened East to India - a place he had no former knowledge of, and
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Maria Beltrami
Il grande Kapuscinski riperccorre i suoi primi ani di giornalista e inviato speciale, anni trascorsi con collega e maestro di eccezione, ovvero Erodoto, che con le sue Storie traccia la via a cui si deve attenere il vero inviato, duemila anni fa come oggi.
E così scaturisce una narrazione parallela tra le vicende del giovane inviato, gli errori, gli intoppi e le scoperte, e il resoconto di avvenimenti antichi raccontati con tale maestria da non perdere un grammo della loro attualità e del loro fa
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James Murphy
Oct 10, 2016 James Murphy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My copy of the book--Vintage International--labels Travels with Herodotus as memoir/history, and it is, but it touched me more as a simple meditation on Herodotus and his The Histories. Kapuscinski is a Polish journalist and traveler who writes here about his 1st trips outside Poland in the mid-20th century. He was given a copy of Herodotus as a companion on his 1st assignment abroad. It touched him deeply, as his own book touched me.

Kapuscincki uses The Histories as a way to gauge his own sense
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Jim
Oct 30, 2010 Jim rated it it was amazing
This, the last book by its author, is one of a kind. It is merely by chance that, earlier this month, I re-read Herodotus's Histories, so it is so fresh in my mind that I recognized most of the quotes from the 5th century B.C. Greek historian instantly.

But what if I had not read Herodotus recently? Then this would be a rather boring work, an extended commentary on someone with whom I was not familiar.

Kapuscinski and Herodotus shared many traits in common. Both had traveled the world (as they
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Beth Bonini
May 30, 2015 Beth Bonini rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, travel
Years ago, I remember reading The English Patient and becoming aware, for the first time, of Herodotus. In that book, the character of Katharine Clifton was reading Herodotus's Histories. I've still not read Herotodus, but after having read this book -- which is full of references and quoted text from what Kapuscinski describes as "world literature's first great work of reportage"-- I fully understand why it was such a apt choice of reading material for an English woman trapped in Cairo during ...more
Lisa
Jan 27, 2009 Lisa rated it it was ok
The book I wanted this to be was one where, upon reading something from Herodotus such as "According to the stories of the Trachis, the left bank of the Ister is populated by bees," the author is going to place this anecdote on a modern map, go there, write about what became of the Trachis and who they are now, and where this business with bees might have come from.

That is not this book. There is one bit where Kapuściński visits a site from The Histories, Persepolis, but he doesn't see it all be
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S©aP
Mar 08, 2013 S©aP rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un grande giornalista che ripercorre i suoi esordi di inviato all'estero. Un racconto intimo e leggero, che alterna contesti storici ad avvenimenti privati. Un omaggio rispettoso e delicato al primo compagno di viaggio, e grande collega... "ante litteram".
Dan
Sep 29, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing
Man, what a book. I picked this up thinking it would be a simple travelogue but it's much, much more. It would have been interesting enough if it was just a straightforward retelling of Kapuscinski's travels through India, China and Africa during the 50s and 60s as a foreign correspondent for a Polish newspaper, but what he does by relating his journey through passages in Herodotus' the Histories puts it on a whole other level. During his travels, he always goes back to his trusty Histories, ...more
Geoffrey Fox
En 1956, cuando Ryszard Kapuściński tenía 24 años, el periódico polaco Sztandar Mlodych [Estandarte de Juventud] lo envió a la India, porque la visita de Nehru a Polonia había despertado algún interés en ese lejano país. Esta fue la primera oportunidad para "cruzar la frontera" del joven reportero, que ni siquiera sabía inglés y quedó mistificado y fascinado por la India. Aquí nos cuenta de esa visita y anécdotas de otros viajes a Jartum, el Congo/Zaire, Senegal, y China, intercaladas con largas ...more
Sandra
Mar 09, 2013 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erodoto e Kapuscinski: due anime gemelle, accomunati dalla passione per il loro lavoro, il reportage. Divisi da duemilacinquecento anni, uniti dal desiderio di “varcare la frontiera”; il primo viaggiò per tutto il mondo allora conosciuto e scrisse la storia indagando, ascoltando opinioni e raccogliendo le verità che gli uomini che incontrava gli raccontavano, e che egli rappresentava nei suoi scritti ricoprendole del manto del “verosimile”; il secondo un uomo moderno, giornalista, che ha girato ...more
Conrad
Oct 23, 2007 Conrad rated it really liked it
One of my biggest regrets in life so far is that I never got to take Ryszard Kapuscinski out to dinner. His reportage, such as The Shadow of the Sun and The Emperor catalogues human frailty better than anything since Dante, and like Dante, possesses a moral sense combined with cosmopolitan empathy for nearly everyone he runs into.

This was a thoughtful and moving valediction from a person who truly was a citizen of the world.
Andrew
God, what a charming writer. As I find when I read Sebald, I find that Kapuscinski has a great many of the exact same thoughts that I've written about, but phrases them with an infinitely greater degree of eloquence. Throughout, Kapuscinski alternates between past and present, ratcheting across countries and continents.

I'm only calling it travel writing by process of elimination. Kapuscinski is traveling, and that is the sole common thread. History, art, Cold War tensions, language, and literary
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Ana
I'm not the one to deny my high school history teacher's taste in literature, and when he recommends an author to me, I pretty much make sure that I read that author as soon as I can. I not only know that it will be a good read from a literary point of view, but that it will force my analytical side as well and teach me a thing or two. As Kapuscinski did.

Reading history books can get a bit tedious, as times. You get sucked in this whirlwind of names, dates and pointless statistical information,
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George
Jan 14, 2009 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the title page: “Ryszard Kapuscinski, Poland’s most celebrated foreign correspondent, was born in 1932 in Pinsk (in what is now Belarus) and spent four decades reporting on Asia, Latin America, and Africa. He died in 2007.” This remarkable book is the account of Kapuscinski’s years in the field, traveling for the first time beyond the Iron Curtain to India, China, Ethiopia, and other interesting locales. But, it is more than an interesting travelogue. He travels with a copy of Herodotus’s ...more
Quang Khuê
Apr 07, 2012 Quang Khuê rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
...Hai con người, hai thời đại, khiêm tốn và ham tìm tòi đã gặp nhau, tìm thấy nhau và tìm thấy chính bản thân mình trong từng trang sách. Với khao khát vượt qua những biên giới của hiện tại, lưu giữ những khoảnh khắc của lịch sử, họ hóa thân vào nhau, thân thiết và bên chặt như hai người bạn chân chính. Và quan trọng, cả hai, đều biết đặt ra những câu hỏi, cho riêng mình, và cho cả những người mà họ chưa từng gặp mặt, hôm nay hoặc mai sau.
Sa mạc lớn dần, khốn thay cho kẻ nào ôm giữ lấy sa mạc (
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তাহসিন রেজা
আমি মুগ্ধ!!!
Kobe Bryant
May 15, 2016 Kobe Bryant rated it liked it
I know its called Travels with Herodotus but there was too much Herodotus
umberto
Apr 16, 2012 umberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, travel
I think reading this ancient history-cum-travel is worth spending my time since the author wrote fascinatingly from his direct experience as a foreign correspondent while travelling to various countries as assigned from the PAP news agency in Poland around 1950's. More unique than any other travel stories I've read, his narration's been accompanied by an unthinkable guide given by Ms. Irena Tarlowska his editior in chief, that is, THE HISTORIES by Herodotus, long acclaimed as the "father of ...more
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The History Book ...: TRAVELS WITH HERODOTUS 90 52 Nov 02, 2008 12:08AM  
  • The Way of Herodotus: Travels With the Man Who Invented History
  • Trieste and The Meaning of Nowhere
  • Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece
  • On the Road to Babadag: Travels in the Other Europe
  • News From Tartary
  • Modlitwa o deszcz
  • Danube
  • Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus
  • Inny świat
  • Rozmowy z katem
  • Kapuściński non-fiction
  • What Am I Doing Here?
  • Eastern Approaches
  • The Valleys of the Assassins: and Other Persian Travels
  • Gottland
  • Biała gorączka
  • Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars
  • The Way of the World
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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
More about Ryszard Kapuściński...

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“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.” 162 likes
“There aren't many such enthusiasts born. The average person is not especially curious about the world. He is alive, and being somehow obliged to deal with this condition, feels the less effort it requires, the better. Whereas learning about the world is labor, and a great all-consuming one at that. Most people develop quite antithetical talents, in fact - to look without seeing, to listen without hearing, mainly to preserve onself within oneself.” 21 likes
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