HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Soccer War by Ryszard Kapuscinski
Loading...

The Soccer War (original 1978; edition 1992)

by Ryszard Kapuscinski

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
484521,248 (3.96)15
Member:atrautz
Title:The Soccer War
Authors:Ryszard Kapuscinski
Info:Vintage (1992), Edition: Later printing, Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Non-Fiction, Read (Personal Collection)
Rating:***
Tags:Essays

Work details

The Soccer War by Ryszard Kapuściński (1978)

None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 15 mentions

English (4)  Italian (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
Kapuscinski’s second book, “The Soccer War” (Wojna futbolowa), written in 1978 is not the Polish writer’s best book but it certainly fulfills the expectations.

Again Kapuscinski, who as a war - correspondent visits the different third world countries during their bloody struggle towards independence, finds himself in the most dangerous situations. Ryszard is stung by scorpions, dodges bullets, escapes fire squads, hides from enraged lynching mobs and, even in a moment of extreme horror, is doused in petrol, ready to set alight.
The revolutionary theatres he is visiting follow each other: Congo, Algeria, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Somalia. The book takes it enigmatic title from one of these “revolutions”, the 100-hour war between El Salvador and Honduras in ’69. Ignited by the riots following the qualifying rounds of the 1970 World Cup, this Central - American hysteria leads to some 300,000 Salvadorans displaced from their homes, 900 troops and civilians killed on El Salvadorian side, 2,000 civilians killed on the Honduras side and thousands of homeless farmers, who have not a clue of what happened to them.
All this in less than four days of fighting!
Kapuscinski’s reputation as a hard boiled war-correspondent and witness of his time has slightly been debunked by a recent biography written by his fellow countryman Artur Domoslawski. Kapuscinski seems not to have been the witness to all of what he claimed. Still Kapuscinski enjoys a quasi mythical status in Poland and the new biography was viciously attacked when published.

So what to think about this book? Personally, I think that none of Kapuscinski’s earlier books can beat the universal and time-less attraction of his last novel “Travels with Herodotus”. All his previous books, original and gripping reads on their own account, still lead to his final book which is also his testament.

Apart from some sensational incidents, Kapuscinski’s books have dated a bit. The great events he describes have turned into historical footnotes; most mysteries he discusses have been elucidated or at least been put into another perspective.

But some chapters are essential in their depiction of what is wrong with the countries he loved so much.

Take for instance the short chapter in which Kapuscinski narrates how a Tanzanian woman, Member of Parliament, tries unsuccessfully to pass a bill which would greatly improve the financial support and the living conditions of the numerous illegitimate children by passing a part of the responsibility to their known biological fathers.
The ludicrous arguments, which her male colleagues use against this praise-worthy bill, announce, already then, the scandalous attitudes and blatant irresponsibility which many African governments will show towards the Aids problem and explains why the different African Leaders failed to set up an effective prevention program.

So, as a conclusion, any book of Kapuscinski is still a gripping read, but as to the understanding you get out of it depends on your proper insight and your receptivity.
2 vote Macumbeira | Jun 7, 2010 |
This intriguing collection of essays chronicles the author's experiences as a foreign correspondent covering war and revolution between 1958 and 1980. The titular piece refers to a brief war between Honduras and El Salvador, but the collection mostly deals with Africa, especially the Congo, Ghana, and Algeria. Some of the essays are, inevitably, not as strong as others; nevertheless, Kapuscinski, an internationally acclaimed journalist, communicates with immediacy and heart in an engaging, readable style. Speaking of his childhood in Poland during World War II, he writes, "In my country, the war did not pass anyone by; it went through every home, it smashed its rifle butt against every door, it burned dozens of cities and thousands of villages. The war wounded everyone, and those who survived cannot cure themselves of it. A person who has lived through a great war is different from someone who never lived through any war. They are two different human beings. They will never find a common language, because you cannot really describe the war, you cannot share it, you cannot tell someone: Here, take a little bit of my war. Everyone has to live out his own war to the end." ( )
  joshberg | Jun 1, 2009 |
Africa > Description and travel/Latin America > Description and travel/Asia, Central > Description and travel/Revolutions > History > 20th century/Kapuâsciânski, Ryszard > Journeys
  Budzul | May 31, 2008 |
A collection of personal reportage by a guy addicted to throwing himself into life-threatening situations. The access he gets is amazing, but it is difficult to imagine the personal cost is worth it. ( )
  ethanr | Mar 2, 2007 |
Showing 4 of 4
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
"I am living on a raft in a side-street in the merchant district of Accra."
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679738053, Paperback)

Part diary and part reportage, The Soccer War is a remarkable chronicle of war in the late twentieth century. Between 1958 and 1980, working primarily for the Polish Press Agency, Kapuscinski covered twenty-seven revolutions and coups in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Here, with characteristic cogency and emotional immediacy, he recounts the stories behind his official press dispatches—searing firsthand accounts of the frightening, grotesque, and comically absurd aspects of life during war. The Soccer War is a singular work of journalism.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:23 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
64 wanted1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.96)
0.5
1
1.5
2 3
2.5 1
3 17
3.5 10
4 32
4.5 8
5 22

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,628,127 books! | Top bar: Always visible