Five years ago, on 23 January, Ryszard Kapuściński passed away. The books of this outstanding Polish journalist have become invaluable lessons in the world that surrounds us. In his descriptions of Eastern Europe, Kapuściński displayed complete journalistic and literary mastery.
Ryszard Kapuściński was born in pre-war Pinsk, a city presently located within Belarusian borders. Together with his family, he survived the turmoil of the Second World War. While gaining education and working experience in the time of the communist regime governing in Poland, he was making a name for himself as a master of reportage genre – the title bestowed on him long before his death. In his texts, Kapuściński dealt with the world in unrest. He described revolutions, wars and societies oppressed by dictators.
His observation frequently focused on the Soviet Union. In “The Kirghiz Dismounts”, published in 1968, Kapuściński described life in Soviet republics in the region of the Caucasus and Central Asia. In “Imperium” from 1993, portraying the last day of the Soviet Union, he gave a deep insight into the collapse of the totalitarian giant. This book, in particular, is a must for all fans of Eastern Europe.
Translated by KD