Ryszard Kapuscinski: A Life

Ryszard Kapuscinski: A Life

by Artur Domoslawski


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The life and work of Ryszard Kapuscinski was dangerously bold and deeply enigmatic. This controversial biography opens up the secrets and contradictions of this globally renowned Polish journalist and writer.

Artur Domoslawski travels the globe, following in Kapuscinski’s footsteps, delving into his private conflicts and anxieties and discovering the relationships that were the catalyst for his unique style of ‘literary reportage’. The result is a compelling and uncompromising portrait of a conflicted and brilliant individual.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781680810
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 05/07/2013
Edition description: Translatio
Pages: 472
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Artur Domoslawski writes on international politics for the weekly review Polityka and for the Polish edition of Le Monde diplomatique, and for two decades reported for the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza. In 2010 he received Poland’s prestigious Journalist of the Year Award. A Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 2005–2006, he is the author of five books and is currently working on a book about contemporary Latin America.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Smile 1

1 Daguerreotypes 5

2 Pinsk: The Beginning 9

3 War 19

4 Legends 1: His Father and Katyn 31

5 Inspired by Poetry, Storming Heaven 35

6 Lapidarium 1: The Poet 43

7 On the Construction Site of Socialism 45

8 Lapidarium 2: Lance Corporal Kapuscinski 53

9 On the Construction Site of Socialism, Continued 55

10 Alicja, Maminek, Zojka 65

11 '56: Revolution All Over Again 73

12 The Third World: A Clash and a Beginning 93

13 In 'Rakowski's Gang' 103

14 Legends 2: Sentenced to Death by Firing Squad 115

15 In 'Rakowski's Gang', Continued 119

16 Life in Africa 129

17 Objects of Fascination: The African Icons 139

18 Life in Africa, Continued 145

19 In the Corridors of Power 159

20 Lapidarium 3: The Reporter as Politician 169

21 On the Trail of Che Guevara 171

22 Legends 3: Che, Lumumba, Allende 179

23 On the Trail of Che Guevara, Continued 185

24 Objects of Fascination: The Latin American Icons 193

25 On the Trial of Che Guevara, Continued Further 197

26 Zojka's Escapes 207

27 A Committed Reporter, a Black-and-White World 213

28 Christ with a Rifle in a Czech Comedy at the Emperor's Court 225

29 On Love and Other Demons 245

30 The Final Revolution, the Final Coup 255

31 Worth More Than a Thousand Grizzled Journofantasists 281

32 Lapidarium 4: Why Did Kapuscinski Have No Critics in Poland? 297

33 The Reporter Amends Reality, Or, Critics of All Nations, Unite! 303

34 Legends 4: Kapuscinski and Kapuscinski 321

35 Our Friend Rysiek 323

36 Where to from Socialism? 333

37 Lapidarium 5: Was Kapuscinski a Thinker? 347

38 Where to from Socialism? Continued 355

39 The File 367

40 Legends 5: The Price of Greatness 389

41 Maestro Kapu 391

42 Unwritten Books 399

43 No Strength to Furnish the Face 411

Notes 425

Index 443

What People are Saying About This

Zygmunt Bauman

A great book about a great man.

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Ryszard Kapuscinski: The Biography 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first heard Mr. Kapuscinski interviewed some years ago on NPR-- concerning his then new release "The Soccer Wars". I purchased a copy and was not disappointed. I have been a fan ever since. Naturally, when "A Life" came out, I looked forward to learning more about this incredible writer. I have not been disappointed. Mr. Kapuscinski was a complex man, living under complex circumstances. He surmounted many difficulties to become what I consider to have been one of the most remarkable, and insightful, political writers of our time. "A Life" succeeds in detailing how Mr. Kapuscinski coped with his complex circumstances. "A Life" does, on occasion, seem a bit hard on Mr. Kapuscinski for various small 'liberties' he may have taken in some of his reportage; but, on balance, seems to present a fair overview of this writer's life. Read it and judge for yourself.