The Emperor

The Emperor

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by Ryszard Kapuscinski
     
 

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Haile Selassie, King of Kings, Elect of God, Lion of Judah, His Most Puissant Majesty and Distinguished Highness the Emperor of Ethiopia, reigned from 1930 until he was overthrown by the army in 1974. While the fighting still raged, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Poland's leading foreign correspondent, traveled to Ethiopia to seek out and interview Selassie's servants and

Overview

Haile Selassie, King of Kings, Elect of God, Lion of Judah, His Most Puissant Majesty and Distinguished Highness the Emperor of Ethiopia, reigned from 1930 until he was overthrown by the army in 1974. While the fighting still raged, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Poland's leading foreign correspondent, traveled to Ethiopia to seek out and interview Selassie's servants and closest associates on how the Emperor had ruled and why he fell. This "sensitive, powerful. . .history" (The New York Review of Books) is Kapuscinski's rendition of their accounts—humorous, frightening, sad, groteque—of a man living amidst nearly unimaginable pomp and luxury while his people teetered netween hunger and starvation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679722038
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/1989
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
610,958
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.46(d)

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The Emperor 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Profound yet accessible, the Emperor ostensibly talks about the reign of Haile Selassie of Ethiopia but on a deeper level exposes the nature of all autocrats, examining the underpinnings of despotic rule. This book started the author's international career and there is a good reason for it. He brilliantly tells the story from the perspective of the Emperor's servants, showing a behind-the-curtain perspective of the court. Ironic and slightly archaic literary style is surprisingly fresh and universal. This is not a history book about Ethiopia, nor a biography of its last Emperor. It is a universally applicable, in-depth analysis of the disfunctions of authoritarian rule wherever it holds a grip on power. All in all, a wonderful book!