The Shadow Of The Sun

Kapuscinski, Ryszard

Published by Knopf, 2001
ISBN 10: 0679454918 / ISBN 13: 9780679454915
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New York. 2001. Knopf. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. 30. 336 pages. hardcover. 0679454918. keywords: March 4. inventory # 29543. FROM THE PUBLISHER - Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa in 1957, at the beginning of the end of colonial rule - the ‘sometimes dramatic and painful, sometimes enjoyable and jubilant’ rebirth of a continent. The Shadow of the Sun sums up the author’s experiences (‘the record of a forty-year marriage’) in this place that became the central obsession of his remarkable career. From the hopeful years of independence through the bloodcurdling disintegration of nations such as Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, and Angola, Kapuscinski recounts great social and political changes as seen through the prism of the ordinary African. He looks at the rough-and-ready physical world and identifies the true geography of Africa - a little-understood spiritual universe, an African way of being. And he offers a moving portrait of Africa in the wake of two epoch-making changes: the arrival of AIDS and the definitive departure of the white man. Kapuscinski’s rare humanity invests his subject with a dignity and grandeur unmatched by any other writer on the Third World, and his unique ability to discern the universal in the particular has never been more powerfully displayed than in this work. The Shadow of the Sun is a masterpiece from a modern master. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa in 1957, at the beginning of the end of colonial rule––the “sometimes dramatic and painful, sometimes enjoyable and jubilant” rebirth of a continent. The Shadow of the Sun sums up the author’s experiences (“the record of a forty-year marriage”) in this place that became the central obsession of his remarkable career.

From the hopeful years of independence through the bloodcurdling disintegration of nations such as Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, and Angola, Kapuscinski recounts great social and political changes as seen through the prism of the ordinary African. He looks at the rough-and-ready physical world and identifies the true geography of Africa––a little-understood spiritual universe, an African way of being. And he offers a moving portrait of Africa in the wake of two epoch-making changes: the arrival of AIDS and the definitive departure of the white man.

Kapuscinski’s rare humanity invests his subject with a dignity and grandeur unmatched by any other writer on the Third World, and his unique ability to discern the universal in the particular has never been more powerfully displayed than in this work. The Shadow of the Sun is a masterpiece from a modern master.

Review: When Africa makes international news, it is usually because war has broken out or some bizarre natural disaster has taken a large number of lives. Westerners are appallingly ignorant of Africa otherwise, a condition that the great Polish journalist and writer Ryszard Kapuœciñski helps remedy with this book based on observations gathered over more than four decades.

Kapuœciñski first went to Africa in 1957, a time pregnant with possibilities as one country after another declared independence from the European colonial powers. Those powers, he writes, had "crammed the approximately ten thousand kingdoms, federations, and stateless but independent tribal associations that existed on this continent in the middle of the nineteenth century within the borders of barely forty colonies." When independence came, old interethnic rivalries, long suppressed, bubbled up to the surface, and the continent was consumed in little wars of obscure origin, from caste-based massacres in Rwanda and ideological conflicts in Ethiopia to hit-and-run skirmishes among Tuaregs and Bantus on the edge of the Sahara. With independence, too, came the warlords, whose power across the continent derives from the control of food, water, and other life-and-death resources, and whose struggles among one another fuel the continent's seemingly endless civil wars. When the warlords "decide that everything worthy of plunder has been extracted," Kapuœciñski writes, wearily, they call a peace conference and are rewarded with credits and loans from the First World, which makes them richer and more powerful than ever, "because you can get significantly more from the World Bank than from your own starving kinsmen."

Constantly surprising and eye-opening, Kapuœciñski's book teaches us much about contemporary events and recent history in Africa. It is also further evidence for why he is considered to be one of the best journalists at work today. --Gregory McNamee

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Shadow Of The Sun
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket
Edition: 1st Edition.

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