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The Other

The master of literary reportage reflects on the West's encounters with the non-European.

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.


  • “Extraordinarily intelligent … The lectures are as erudite as they are profound … An astonishingly fresh and perceptive discussion of what identity means today.”
  • “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.”
  • “Kapuscinski’s case for humanity to accept and acknowledge ‘otherness’ is cogent and invites further contemplation.”
  • “Eloquent ... remarkably thoughtful and compressed.”