This book is actually a series of essays and dispatches from various corners of the world, unlike some of Kapuscinski's previous work, which looked in length at specific countries (Iran, Ethiopia, etc.). The various sections ranged from marvelous to merely good. The first half of the book chronicles Kapuscinski's visits to Africa in the 1960's, and he provides us with some wonderful portraits of that continent's post-indenpendence dilemmas. The author really seems to capture the mixture of optimism, heroism, disillusionment, and despair that nearly every African country went through. There is a particularly colorful look at Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, as well as chapters on the Congo's Lumumba, Algeria's Ben Balla, a brutal civil war in Nigeria, and one of the most curious military takeovers I have ever read about in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), which Kapuscinski came upon by accident. The author relates riveting near-death experiences in the Nigeria and Burundi chapters. The latter half of the book chronicle's visits to Latin America, the Middle East, Cyrus, and the Ethiopia-Somalia border during the 1970's. I found his description of the 1969 "Soccer War" between Honduras and El Salvador to be especially compelling. Kapuscinski's specialty is not in technical, academic analyses of war, economic underdevelopment, or tyranny. Nor is he necessarily a sensationalist, out to shock readers with gory details. Of course, many of his stories are quite sensational to those unaquainted with such things, but his presentation is subtle and thoughtful. He seeks to find traces of humanity in even the most barbarous situations. Another thing I really appreciate about Kapuscinski is that he seemingly talks to everyone, from urban intellectuals to impoverished peasants. The only reason I gave this book four stars rather than a perfect five is the fact that sometimes I would have appreciated a bit more technical analysis, or at least background information. This was especially lacking in his chapters on Cyprus and the Somili-Ethiopian war, where he perfectly captures the flavor of everyday life in the midst of crisis, but provides little insight into origins of the crisis itself. Also, Kapuscinski frequently launches into philosophical musings which can range from dazzlingly brilliant to downright ponderous. Nevertheless, even these detours into the abstract do not negatively affect the flow of the book, and they are minor criticisms when put into perspective. I highly recommend The Soccer War to anyone wishing to gain a better picture of some of the most intriguing events and places of our world.