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The Other

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  669 Ratings  ·  54 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 June 8th 2006)
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A distinctly underwhelming book, encapsulated far more succinctly and memorably as “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

Kapucinski expounds at length over 79 pages; WITHOUT at any point SIMPLIFYING his thesis to conclude that essentially our species is hard-wired to breed, whatever the cost, and to promote its own individual successes and economic advantages: i.e. that of our own family, and maybe also that of our own tribe, over all other comers.

That’s it. Nothing costly, except
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
Jun 27, 2008 Nacho rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: periodismo
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
Jan 20, 2012 P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ioana Pintea
Jan 22, 2014 Ioana Pintea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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."
romeo dallaire gave a talk at my university a few weeks ago and he recommended this book. the essays portray very well differences in cultures that we sometimes forget about. i find it even stronger especially since i was in east and west africa for a couple of weeks just recently and i got to notice first hand how urban life has this weird mix of local & western at the same time.
Jun 02, 2015 Hesham rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kapuscinski is one of Poland greatest writers,and obviously influenced by the ideas and philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas , provides sensible reflections into human relationship , that really illuminates the topic in some aspects and tells quite a lot of his long-standing experience of correspondence in Africa , Asia and Latin america.

I liked the simplicity and the flow of his ideas ,however,part of his arguments were shaky and indefensible (at least for me) :


"In this march of civilizations,E
Janneth Quintero
Aug 30, 2016 Janneth Quintero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es un libro interesante, habla sobre podríamos entender las diferentes maneras en que convivimos los seres humanos, situación que puede resultar muy difícil teniendo en cuenta que somos seres diversos y complejos.
Kaha Anwar
Apr 27, 2012 Kaha Anwar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kris Kaleta
Feb 12, 2017 Kris Kaleta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kapuscinski is one of the most important authors in my life. I owe him my passion, my views, my approach. He made me dream about travels, people and cultures; back in mid-2000s once I got his first book I started to draw paths that I wanted to follow, people I wanted to meet, places I wanted to discover. He was the one who made me believe in human beings and doubt them simultaneously. I will always remember those feelings I had back then - the weird combination of goosebumps, consternation, happ ...more
Christian Krüger
Hier versammeln sich kurze Beiträge aus der Wiener Vorlesung zum Thema "Der Andere". Interessant, aber ohne großen Neugewinn.
Gabriel P. Alfonsi T.
Interesante análisis de la realidad del Otro como alteridad de uno mismo, pero también de ese Otro con el cual nos cruzamos día a día, el taxista, el cajero de un banco, la vendedora de un shopping; pero también ese Otro que cuando viajamos nos confronta con muchas diferencias culturales, que nos muestra que lo que experimentamos como realidad en nuestro entorno nativo puede ser totalmente diferente, y no por ello malo o bueno.
Aceptar que hay Otros, cercanos o lejanos, individuos independientes
Feb 08, 2016 jeand99 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did you ever visit my Chinese Garden? In a way it's my image of our time and age. Everything seems so transparent and easily accessible today. It seems we are able to grasp other people by checking out their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etcetera profiles. But the painful truth is we only take a look on their surfaces. Never (better: almost never) too deep! The only thing I see on TV are one-liners and jokes.

Are we patient enough? Am I? Are you? Patient enough to listen, talk and learn to deal wi
Aaron Gallardo
May 04, 2015 Aaron Gallardo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un tratado del hombre y la relación con otros (Otros) como medio para reafirmarse; el contacto con todo el mundo como último fin. Una alegre síntesis de la historia antropológica, una claroscura caminata hacia un intento de hallarle bondad al ser humano.

Cada uno de esos Otros que encontramos en nuestros periplos por el mundo parece llevar en su interior a dos personas; se trata de una dualidad que a menudo resulta difícil discernir, cosa de la que no siempre nos damos cuenta. Una es un ser como
Feb 02, 2013 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  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
Nov 23, 2008 Ian rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
Ben Ballin
Jan 18, 2016 Ben Ballin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"To build bridges of understanding with Others ... is not just an ethical duty but also an urgent task for our time in a world where everything is so fragile and where there is so much demagogy, disorientation, fanaticism and bad will." I find it hard to disagree with this and much else in this short collection of speeches and essays. I am already a fan of Kapuskinski's crystal clear journalistic style, beautifully translated here into limpid English by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Here, he shares some ...more
Jan 13, 2011 Ken rated it liked it
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
Sarah Az Zahra
Nov 12, 2015 Sarah Az Zahra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cukup memberikan kita renungan bahwa 'Orang Lain' bukan untuk di definisikan sebagai yang lebih rendah dari kita. Karena kita tinggal di bumi yang sama, melihat langit yang sama, bahkan kita sama-sama (pernah)merasakan tangis, tawa, gembira dan rasa sakit didalam tubuh kita masing-masing, meski dengan takaran yang berbeda-beda. Pun hanya konstruksi 'warna'lah yang masih saja digunakan sebagai pembeda. Selebihnya, menurut saya pribadi, kita manusia adalah sama dihadapanNYA. Seperti yang dikatakan ...more
Mohammed Asiri
Aug 16, 2016 Mohammed Asiri rated it really liked it
A provoking lectures about otherness. It builds a ground to appreciate others and shows the importance of get in touch with other race, culture, religion, and so on.

"To judge you have to be there", this great quote sums up lots of talk about making statement about others without knowing them or living with them.

The author combines between theoretical and practical approach. He went to the place he wanted to write about. Arguably, media plays a significant role in portraying others, usually, in
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
Jul 06, 2014 Megan rated it liked it
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.
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.
Feb 19, 2010 D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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.

Mar 27, 2009 Simon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
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.
Aug 29, 2015 Natalia rated it really liked it
Personally, I really like the first part of the book. It explains very well what is the other, who is it?
, how we need to approach to him. However, the last part were Kapuscinski talks about globalization, in my opinion is too flat. There is no detail proposal of how to approach the other. He only says through dialogue, but he does not emphasize it quite well.
Puri Kencana Putri
Jun 24, 2016 Puri Kencana Putri rated it really liked it
A good thoughtfully read for this time being, as UK decides to get Brexit with ongoing fear of 'the other'. While throughout this book, Kapuscinski have explained on how others has taught us that friendliness towards another human being is the only attitude that can touch a chord of humanity in our lives.
Jan 06, 2012 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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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“When man meets an obstacle he can't destroy, he destroys himself” 14 likes
“All civilisations have a tendency toward narcissism, and the stronger the civilisation, the more clearly this tendency will appear. It spurs civilisations into conflict with others, triggering their arrogance and lust for domination.This always involves contempt for Others.” 2 likes
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