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Born in eastern Poland in 1932, Kapuscinski studied History at Warsaw University and worked as a domestic reporter before becoming a foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency from 1958 and 1981. He gained critical and popular praise for his coverage of civil wars, revolutions, and social conditions in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, and for his books which have become hallmarks of modern reportage.
"Kapuscinski transcended the assumptions of conventional journalism. He saw that truth consists of much more than collections of facts, that it may be found in the stories people make up, and that the most interesting quote may be one that was never spoken.... If the work of contemporary Latin American novelists, sprinkled with trees that move and birds that talk, is magic realism, Kapuscinski has created a kind of magic journalism."--Adam Hochschild, The New York Review of Books
"When our children's children want to study the cruelties of the late 20th century; when they wonder why revolution after revolution betrayed its promises through greed, fear and confusion, they should read Ryszard Kapuscinski."--The Wall Street Journal