To the extent that the two are separable, Ryszard Kapuscinski is revered as much for his legendary persona as for his work. Until his death last January at seventy-four, the Polish journalist and badass embodied the glamour of the uncompromising foreign correspondent. For decades he rushed toward the places everyone else wanted to flee, to be there for the war, the coup, even the humdrum poverty. Rather than interviewing officials, his preferred research method was idling in bars with locals. And he recorded his impressions with acuity and lyricism, in books that are often said to transcend the limits of journalism.