By Ryszard Kapuściński
For reporters and historians, Africa can seem an impossible, confusing place. Everything is such a mess and the wars seem just meaningless—what do these people have to win, or lose? Any essay by Ryszard Kapuściński tells you more about African politics than you thought it possible to know. A Polish journalist who reported from the continent for four decades, he has a simple trick: He writes about Africa the way he would write about any other place. The people he writes about have a history; they have reasons and allegiances. He also writes beautiful, moving, and simple prose.