Written by Ryszard Kapuściński
Translated from the Polish by Klara Glowczewska
The Polish journalist whose The Soccer War and The Emperor are counted as classics of contemporary reportage now bears witness in Imperium to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This magisterial book combines childhood memory with unblinking journalism, a radar for the truth with a keen appreciation of the absurd.
Imperium begins with Ryszard Kapuściński's account of the Soviet occupation of his town in eastern Poland in 1939. It culminates fifty years later, with a forty-thousand-mile journey that takes him from the haunted corridors of the Kremlin to the abandoned gulag of Kolyma, from a miners' strike in the arctic circle to a panic-stricken bus ride through the war-torn Caucasus.
Out of passivity and paranoia, ethnic hatred and religious fanaticism that have riven two generations of Eastern Europeans, Kapuściński has composed a symphony for a collapsing empire--a work that translates history into the hopes and sufferings of the human beings condemned to live it.
"Kapuściński is an enchanting guide, combining boundless stamina, felicitous writing, childish curiosity and the literate authority of a true intellectual. . . There are treasures in this book. . . It is a triumphant combination of bleak history and black comedy."
The New York Times Book Review
"Masterfully blends. . . travel stories, history and personal observations. . . Kapuściński brilliantly evokes mood, feelings, place. . . his observations [covey] the essence of Soviet life."
Over the years Ryszard Kapuściński was the laureate of many international literary prizes that brought recognition to his creative oeuvre. Most notibly in 2003 he was awarded one of Italy's most important literary prizes "The Premio Grinzane Cavour" in the international 'per la lettura' category (ie for the pleasure the reading of his books gives the reader). In 2006 he was awarded a special category of the "Ilaria Alpi Prize" for the entirety of his career (Premio Ilaria Alpi alla carriera), one of the best-known of Italian journalistic awards.
RYSZARD KAPUŚCIŃSKI, Poland's most celebrated foreign correspondent, was born in 1932. After graduating with a degree in history from Warsaw University, he was sent to India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to report for the Polish news, which began his lifelong fascination with the Third World. During four decades reporting on Asia, Latin America, and Africa, he befriended Che Guevara, Salvador Allende, and Patrice Lumumba. He witnessed twenty-seven coups and revolutions and was sentenced to death four times. His books have been translated into nineteen languages. He died in 2007.
Publishing House: Vintage International, New York 1995
SoftCover book measuring 5.2" x 8"
English Language Version
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