Synopses & Reviews
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 Kapuscinski'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, Kapuscinski 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.
By "the conjuror extraordinary of modern portage" (John le Carre)--a personal, brilliantly detailed exploration of the almost unfathomably complex Soviet empire. "When a writer of Mr. Kapuscinski's genius writes of the snows and the steppes of Siberia, of the doomed Aral Sea and Kiev . . . no pictures are necessary."--The Wall Street Journal. First time in paperback.
About the Author
Ryszard Kapuscinski was born in eastern Poland in 1932. His earlier books, which include Shah of Shahs, The Emperor, and The Soccer War, have been translated into nineteen languages. He died in January of 2007.