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Special Issue 1997


There Are No Shortcuts in History


Ryszard Kapuscinski, a member of NPQ's advisory board and war correspondent extraordinaire, is one of the great observers of the last half of the 20th century. He has spent the last 30 years covering wars, revolution and social collapse in the most remote zones of the planet, from Africa to Central America to Soviet Central Asia.

His classic works of literary journalism include The Emperor, Shah of Shahs, Imperium, and a three-part memoir entitled Lapidarium that will be published in English next year by Knopf.

Kapuscinski's reflections here are based upon a conversation with NPQ editor Nathan Gardels at Kapuscinski's studio attic in a quiet Warsaw suburb in February 1997.

Warsaw - Border used to mean fighting and hatred. They meant the division of territories, the separation of people. The Berlin Wall was a frontier of fear, a possibility of war.

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