The Emperor

Downfall of an Autocrat

Haile Selassie reigned as Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 until he was overthrown by the army in 1974.  Based on interviews with Selassie's servants and closest associates, this is Kapuscinski's fascinating account of Selassie, his Byzantine court, and his eventual downfall.  Perhaps one of the greatest anatomies of power and its delusions ever written, The Emperor ultimately transcends Selassie and Ethiopia to become an allegory of all totalitarian governments.   Translated by William R. Brand and Kataryna Mroczkowska-Brand.

"Kapuscinski's writing, always wonderfully concrete and observant, conjures marvels of meaning out of minutiae.  And his book transcends reportage, becoming a nightmare of power...that reads as if Italo Calvino had rewritten Machiavelli.... An unforgettable, fiercely comic, and finally compassionate book."
--Salman Rushdie
Ryszard Kapuscinski, Poland’s most celebrated foreign correspondent, was born in 1932 in Pinsk (in what is now Belarus) and spent four decades reporting on Asia, Latin America, and Africa. He is also the author of Imperium, Another Day of Life, and The Soccer War. His books have been translated into 28 languages. Kapuscinski died in 2007. View titles by Ryszard Kapuscinski
"[The Emperor] transcends reportage, becoming a nightmare of power... An unforgettable, fiercely comic, and finally compassionate book."
—Salman Rushdie

"Kapuscinski transcends the limitations of journalism and writes with the narrative power of a Conrad or Kipling or Orwell."
—Blake Morrison

"A Stunning exhibit; the interviewed subjects. . .enunciate their memories of the days of Haile Selassie with a magical elegance that. . .achieves poetry and aphorism."
—John Updike, The New Yorker

About

Haile Selassie reigned as Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 until he was overthrown by the army in 1974.  Based on interviews with Selassie's servants and closest associates, this is Kapuscinski's fascinating account of Selassie, his Byzantine court, and his eventual downfall.  Perhaps one of the greatest anatomies of power and its delusions ever written, The Emperor ultimately transcends Selassie and Ethiopia to become an allegory of all totalitarian governments.   Translated by William R. Brand and Kataryna Mroczkowska-Brand.

"Kapuscinski's writing, always wonderfully concrete and observant, conjures marvels of meaning out of minutiae.  And his book transcends reportage, becoming a nightmare of power...that reads as if Italo Calvino had rewritten Machiavelli.... An unforgettable, fiercely comic, and finally compassionate book."
--Salman Rushdie

Author

Ryszard Kapuscinski, Poland’s most celebrated foreign correspondent, was born in 1932 in Pinsk (in what is now Belarus) and spent four decades reporting on Asia, Latin America, and Africa. He is also the author of Imperium, Another Day of Life, and The Soccer War. His books have been translated into 28 languages. Kapuscinski died in 2007. View titles by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Praise

"[The Emperor] transcends reportage, becoming a nightmare of power... An unforgettable, fiercely comic, and finally compassionate book."
—Salman Rushdie

"Kapuscinski transcends the limitations of journalism and writes with the narrative power of a Conrad or Kipling or Orwell."
—Blake Morrison

"A Stunning exhibit; the interviewed subjects. . .enunciate their memories of the days of Haile Selassie with a magical elegance that. . .achieves poetry and aphorism."
—John Updike, The New Yorker

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