Travels with Herodotus

herodotus.jpgIn 1955, just out of university, the Polish writer Ryszard Kapuscinski made his first disoriented forays into the world outside the Iron Curtain. He had only dreamed of the simple act of “crossing the border”. Instead, he found himself sent to India, then China, and then Africa as a foreign correspondent. Untrained for the job and unsure of himself, he takes along a copy of Herodotus’s Histories, a gift from his first boss. As that multilayered work gradually opens to yield its secrets, the methods and means of Herodotus teach Kapuscinski his trade, and the world gradually opens to him as well.