Matthew Green

Man of Parts

Ryszard Kapuściński: A Life


Verso Books 456pp £25 order from our bookshop

Ryszard Kapuściński was journalism’s answer to superman. His blend of suicidal derring-do and empathy for the powerless transformed the messy ingredients of daily news coverage into literary gold. A witness to dozens of wars, coups and revolutions, he befriended Che Guevara and Patrice Lumumba. He had a knack for narrowly escaping death by firing squad. When I first began working as a reporter in Africa, the Polish reporter embodied the apotheosis of what being a foreign correspondent was all about. So when a respected editor once dismissed him as a fantasist, I was dumbstruck.

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