Few would dispute that Robert Fisk is the world’s most famous foreign correspondent. For more than four decades he has been reporting from the planet’s trouble-spots with the confident authority of a man who writes only what he has seen with his own eyes.
Wherever and whenever the darker chapters of modern history are being written – in Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Northern Ireland, former Yugoslavia – Fisk is rarely far from the thick of things, seeking out the truth with a commendable disregard for danger, and describing it with a scarcely less heroic indifference to received wisdom.
His courage and integrity have won him unmatched respect: he is trusted both by those he writes about and by his growing worldwide readership. Add to this a novelist’s flair for vivid evocation, a profound sense of historical context and an often prophetic gift for political analysis, and you have the ingredients for a truly great chronicler of human affairs. If journalism is the first draft of history, Fisk’s drafts are unlikely to need much revision.
To list his achievements and awards in full would fill much of this two-volume collection of his dispatches. Better to say simply that The Independent is proud to be associated with him – and to devote the rest of the available space to this all-too-short selection of writing from a remarkable career.
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