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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


travels with herodotus

ryszard kapuściński




finished kapuściński's travels with herodotus, where kapuściński's simple ambition to see beyond the border of his reclusive poland blossomed into a career of reporting in countries around the world. although this book was not, as i might have first guessed, kapuściński traveling through herodotus' world, it was him traveling after the spirit of herodotus.

"what kind of man was this herodotus? he must have been good natured and kind that so many would give their secrets." in short: he must have been a good reporter, and not the kind that might show up to watch the fireworks of a battle, but one that gets to know people to seek deeper causes. why were the greeks and persians at war?

herodotus' process can only be guessed from his book, at least apparently, he's relaying the account told to him. passing judgment mostly on how trustworthy or near to the event a story might be, not giving into the sense of greek cultural superiority.

and herodotus is a curious man. few retain the childish wonder of exploration and learning about new places and people. herodotus is called the father of history, and as dr. vandiver points out, the work is hard to place in a single genre, so he may also be a foundation of investigative journalism.