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Herodotus, the 5th century chronicler, scarcely figured in the curriculum when famed Polish writer and traveler Ryszard Kapuscinski attended university in the 1950s. After he finished college, Ryszard became a foreign correspondent who hoped to go abroad, perhaps to Czechoslovakia. Instead, he was sent to India—the first stop on a decades-long tour of the world that took him from Iran to El Salvador, from Angola to Armenia. His only companion on his travels was a volume of Herodotus, a gift from his first boss. In his journey across continents, Kapuscinski discovers his life's work: to understand and describe the non-Western world in its remotest reaches, in all its variety, through his still-virginal Western eyes. Throughout his travels, the journalist tests and emulates Herodotus' methods—to wander, look, talk, and listen—so that he can later recount what he saw and learned.