The Other
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The Other

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  394 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Ryszard Kapuscinski witnessed and reported on major wars, coups and revolutions as they happened throughout the developing world and global South. In this distillation of his reflections on a lifetime of travel, he takes a fresh look at the Western idea of the Other: the non-European or non-American. Looking at this concept through the lens of his own encounters in Africa,...more
Paperback, 104 pages
Published September 7th 2009 by Verso (first published 2006)
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I took this book as a companion on my journey through Italy and loved every bit of it. As a matter of fact, I often found myself inclined to stay in my hostel room reading this as opposed to going out. Kapiscinski's reflections on the third world hit really close to home and made me enthusiastic about the world *I* live in and have yet to discover in the fashion he has.
Thorne Clark
Speeches reduced to paper often make mediocre books. This book is a collection of Kapuscinski's material that was intended to be delivered in person before an audience. There is barely enough content to stretch between two covers, and much of it is repetitive -- suggesting a ploy by the Verso editors to milk a few bucks from Kapuscinski's recent passing. There are a few interesting concepts (e.g., a brief argument that literature dropped the ball along with journalism in addressing the upheavals...more
Anagrama tiene la costumbre de estirar las referencias de sus autores publicando cualquier cosa que haya salido de su pluma. Lo hace con Auster y, desde que se le concedió el Príncipe de Asturias y falleció, lo está haciendo con Kapúscinski. Este libro recoge varias conferencias del periodista que, en su mayoría, datan de los años noventa. Todas ellas se centran en el modo el que las personas engloban a sus semejantes en categorías que los distinguen basándose en nacionalidades, razas y credos....more
Ioana Pintea
"He paid a high price for breaking away from his own culture. That is why is so important to have one's own, distinct identity, a sense of its strenght, value and maturity. Only then can a man boldly confront another culture. Otherwise he will lurk in his hiding place, fearfully isolating himself from others. All the more since the Other is a looking glass in which I see myself and in which I am observed-it's a mirror that unmasks and exposes me, something we would prefer to avoid."
Nov 23, 2008 Ian rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in humanism
Recommended to Ian by: One of my Iranian students years ago recommended The Shah's of S
[close] This is a set of 5 lectures by the eminent Polish journalist based on the idea of The Other as experienced by himself during his travels and as discussed by Malinowski and other Polish philosophers.

Fabulous humanist stuff.

From Page 59:
"Does modern literature help to break down these prejudices, our ignorance or our plain indifference? Once again, I don't think it does much. I looked through the French literary awards for the past year, and did not find a sinle book with something to s...more
Ryszard Kapuściński is in may ways the writer's journalist – a Polish foreign correspondent who worked in the 'third world' as an agency writer while also giving us some of the great books of political journalism and observation – his Shah of Shahs about the 1979 Iranian revolution, and The Soccer War about armed conflict between Guatemala and Honduras, are some of the most compelling things I have read (years ago in both cases). In this very short book – 92 A5 pages – we get a series of lecture...more
Kaha Anwar
Liyan, The Other, orang yang di luar lingkup kita tetap menyajikan teka-teki yang penuh prasangka. Dalam jagad pewayangan, Rahwana adalah sosok raksasa bengis, bertindak biadab yang di hidup di “seberang” lautan. Tentunya raksasa dan keraksasaannya Rahwana dilihat dari kacamata Rama yang selalu digambarkan sebagai sosok ganteng, lembut, dan penuh cinta kasih. Boleh jadi, Rahwana menganggap Rama-lah yang sebenarya “raksasa”, kekalahannya Rahwana terletak ketidakpunyaan tangan-tangan yang menelurk...more
Feb 02, 2013 Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ann by: Virginia
"The act of recognizing the world's multiculturalism is of course progress, because it creates a climate conducive to the advance of cultures that yesterday were still wronged and humiliated, but this progress conceals two threats: firstly, the enormous energy and ambition of newly liberated cultures can be exploited by nationalists and racists to encourage war against Others; secondly, the rallying cry to develop one's own culture can be exploited to kindle ethnocentrism, xenophobia and enm...more
Although a slight and succinct book, Ryszard Kapuscinski's collection of lectures "The Other" carries a big message. It is about how Western society deals with other cultures, typically those of non-white origins. It's easy to look around the world and see how we are failing as a human species. War, racism, and exploitation are just some of the unsavory ways white societies have interacted with "The Others." Kapuscinski, a noted Polish journalist who has extensively written and engaged with Afr...more
While only 90 pages, this book probes deep at what it means to be "other." I enjoyed most of it though really only came across a few pages that made me stop and reflect on the author's analysis or philosophy. I actually disagreed with some of Kapuscinski's definitions or examples used to justify the European "othering" tendencies. Overall, a good thoughtful read for the time in which it was originally written.
This is a collection of lectures given by Kapuscinski on the idea of 'the other' and how it relates to the self and to society. While very interesting, it did not have the coherence of his Travels with Herodotus. I am uncertain if this is due solely to the nature of the lectures, or to the quality of the translation.

That being said, it still expresses the attitudes and ethics of this remarkable man. I recommend it, but only to those who have already read and enjoyed something else by Kapuscinski...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Dean
Very quick, very thorough examination of "the other" and normative behaviour towards "the other".
I know Kapuscinski by reputation only, and I'm sure that his proper travel/politics books are very interesting, but this collection of a handful of lectures probably doesn't show him in the best light. It seems that when he moves from telling specific, individual stories into the realms of philosophy he can only muster a few tired and banal generalisations. Edward Said did all this stuff in more detail and with more insight and intellectual rigour in "Orientalism" 25 years ago.
Unimpressive. I expected more from someone with many years of experience as a journalist traveling all over the world. He notices that the three main components to a person's outlook when interacting with a foreigner are race, nationalism, and religion...without any elaboration or added depth. If it weren't for the somewhat academic flavor, I would guess this was a high school social studies paper rather than the collected insights of an experienced foreign correspondent.
Any potential insight is blighted by overt racial guilt which in turn manifests itself into exactly what Kapuściński denounces - namely the view of "the Other" (in this case non-Europeans) from a lofty position - with his suggestions of guilt highlighted with feelings of pity.

Also peculiar is this Polish journalist's conception of himself as a Western European, with no indication of his conception of what this constitutes.
The Other is a series of speeches/lectures by Ryszard and they all deal with his view on how we deal with The Other on a global and personal level. The progression of his ideas is appealing and the integration of ideas from philosophers is nice. This book made me research other books to read.

The book has a very clean, concise style, so even dealing with 'big' topics, it is still easily understood.

César Lasso
Es la obra más filosófica y abstracta que he leído de Kapuściński, aunque también tenía algunos ejemplos concretos e interesantes. Como no me gusta mucho la filosofía, mi puntuación es de dos estrellitas y media. De todos modos, el libro es muy breve: no cuesta leerlo.

A mis manos llegó la versión italiana. En español lo han traducido como Encuentro con el Otro (Ed. Anagrama)
Overly simplistic and at times unabashedly racist. The Other might be the mirror through which we see ourselves, but this function needs to be problematized. This text might be a good intro to some who aren't familiar with the concept of The Other, but if these ideas aren't new to you, this book isn't worth reading.
Jul 24, 2012 Michael rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: A Polish postcrosser (moniabk)
A collection of speeches, I was surprised at how short the book was initially, but given how much overlap in content the selected speeches had, I was glad the book wasn't any longer. It struck me as an attempt by the publisher to milk Kapuscinski's legacy posthumously.
A fascinating book on what it means to be human - and how we interact in this world. Partially Eurocentric and yet against holding that viewpoint. He branches out and shows how that view is dangerous and wrong for the coming century. A wonderful and quick read
Shivaji Das
Too ambitious a topic for the great Kapuscinski to handle. The content is repetitive and lacks depth. None the less, the topic of the book itself is a provocation to treat "The Other" with respect, curiosity and openness. And that's not a bad thing at all.
Sean Mccarrey
The Other is a brilliant selection of works by Kupuscinski that displays the philosophy behind his extensive travels and excursions. This book is a necessity to understanding Kupuscinski.
Interesting thoughts on how we relate to "others", specifically those from non-western regions, and how a person's own sense of identity shapes relationships to others, nationalism, etc.
David Ye
Great read about what it means to be 'the other' and what it means to put that label upon other people.
Very disappointing book - still a huge fan of Kapuscinski but this was a little too thin and weak. I'm guessing it was published after he died to cash in on his name.
Una colección de conferencias relativas al tema del Otro. Puede llegar a a ser algo repetitivo, sin embargo maneja bastantes conceptos muy interesantes.
Adam Hoffritz
Interesting book, good reflections on the idea of the other. handy for anthropologists and journalists too, I imagine
Ryszard Kapuściński pokazuje, jak w wielu różnych miejscach różnie jest postrzegany obcy.
Lise Spectre
Loved it. Bought it. read again and again
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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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“When man meets an obstacle he can't destroy, he destroys himself” 7 likes
“It is the situation, the circumstances, the context, that decide whether we see a person as enemy or as partner at any given moment. The Other can be both of these, and that is the basis of his changeable, elusive nature, his contradictory behaviour, whose motives he himself is sometimes incapable of understanding.” 0 likes
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