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The Other

Overview

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, Asia and Latin America, and considering its formative significance for his own work, Kapuscinski traces how the West has understood the Other ...
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Overview

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, Asia and Latin America, and considering its formative significance for his own work, Kapuscinski traces how the West has understood the Other from classical times to colonialism, from the age of enlightenment to the postmodern global village. He observes how today we continue to treat the non-European as an alien and a threat, an object of study that has not yet become a partner in sharing responsibility for the fate of the world. In our globalized but increasingly polarized post-9/11 age, Kapuscinski shows how the Other remains one of the most compelling ideas of our times.
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Editorial Reviews

Financial Times
“Kapuscinski’s case for humanity to accept and acknowledge ‘otherness’ is cogent and invites further contemplation.”
The Independent
“An alternative journey through philosophy, history and anthropology … a powerful, quasi-religious, meditation on the power of humbling oneself in the face of the unknown.”
John Leonard - Harper's
“Kapuscinski opens a sort of Pandora’s portal through which it is possible to access every imaginable Other, erotic, and exotic, sacred and profane, to define the inchoate Self.”
Jason Burke - The Observer
“Extraordinarily intelligent … The lectures are as erudite as they are profound … An astonishingly fresh and perceptive discussion of what identity means today.”
From the Publisher
“Extraordinarily intelligent ... The lectures are as erudite as they are profound ... An astonishingly fresh and perceptive discussion of what identity means today.”—Jason Burke, Observer

“An alternative journey through philosophy, history and anthropology ... a powerful, quasi-religious, meditation on the power of humbling oneself in the face of the unknown.”—Independent

“Kapuscinski’s case for humanity to accept and acknowledge ‘otherness’ is cogent and invites further contemplation.”—Financial Times

“Eloquent ... remarkably thoughtful and compressed.”—The Washington Post Book World

Francine Prose
Lucidly translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones…Kapuscinski emphasizes the necessity of dialogue and cooperation, and he writes beautifully about those rare historical moments when people from different backgrounds "exchanged thoughts, ideas and goods, traded and did business, made alliances and unions, found common aims and values. The different, other person ceased to be a synonym for a stranger and an enemy, a threat or a deadly evil. Each person discovered in himself at least a small particle of that Other, believed in it and lived in this conviction."
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Kapuscinski (1932-2007) was for decades Poland's most celebrated foreign correspondent, covering some 50 countries for the Polish Press Agency. Since 1965, he focused especially on major wars and revolutions in the developing world and global South. For Poland, he was a principal source of news about the world beyond their closed society. This collection includes four of his speeches on the concept of the "Other." His observations are sobering: "an encounter with Others is not a simple, automatic thing, but involves will and an effort that not everyone is always ready to undertake." Kapuscinski's world view is idealistic and pragmatic, making room for historical forces and personal trauma while dealing with the Other in real-world and existential terms A knowing, thought-provoking and hopeful examination of a perennial theme, readers may yet be disappointed that, given his remarkable career, Kapuscinski (Travels with Herodotus) so rarely gets personal.
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The Washington Post Book World
Eloquent ... remarkably thoughtful and compressed.
The Observer
Extraordinarily intelligent … The lectures are as erudite as they are profound … An astonishingly fresh and perceptive discussion of what identity means today.— Jason Burke
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844674169
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 9/7/2009
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 341,822
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.72 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Pinsk (in what is now Belarus), the celebrated Polish foreign correspondent Ryszard Kapu?ci?ski is the author of, among other titles, Shah of Shahs, Imperium, Shadow of the Sun, The Other and the memoir Travels with Herodotus. His books have been translated into twenty-eight languages. He died in 2007.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Neal Ascherson Ascherson, Neal 1

The Viennese Lectures 11

My Other 51

The Other in the Global Village 63

Encountering the Other as the Challenge of the Twenty-First Century 77

Index 93

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