am 7. Februar 2000
(That's the polish original title.) I think it's worth saying, that in Poland, in the 4th class of high school it's obligatory to read for all the students.'Emperor' was also included in a list of 100 most important non-fictional books of the century ( I don't actually remember the name of the magazine, that prepared the list). It is the most famous book by Ryszard Kapuscinski, famous for the topic he's chosen to write about; for it's beauty and simplicity of style and the massage it carries.Famous for it's huge dose of emotions.Famous for it's beauty.Telling a story of Hajle Sellasje, the emperor of Ethiopia, Kapuscinski shows us the tragedy of Africa, the never-solved problems and curse it has to fight with. He shows us the essence of power, it's danger and instability. "Emperor" is probably the most comprehensive book about authocratic system ever written. We are told the story of the emperor by the people who used to be his servants and clerks. The author has spent years in Africa, South America and Asia, as a war-correspondent.He's seen the downfalls of various governments,uprises and wars.In "Emperor" he shows us his experiences in the simplest and most beautiful way ever.
am 14. Juli 1999
All hail His August Majesty!! That is what Haile Selassie heard from a nation of people that worshipped, but feared the King of Kings. During his most powerful years as Emperor of Ethiopia His Imperial Majesty was the most powerful person in this ancient culture. As Kapuscinski relates through eloquent anecdotes, his power and national approval would soon change.
The book is structured into three chapters, The Throne, It's Coming, It's Coming, and The Collapse. Imperial Palace inhabitants relate stories that describe the feelings and attitudes of those closest to the Emperor. Kapuscinski gives you a sense of what it was like to be in the palace in times of great affluence and abundance. Just when you thought it could not get any better, the feeling of revolution sets in. He describes how the people began to tire of the monarchy, loose respect for power, and grow increasingly hungry. It was captivating to read how the dignitaries tried to hold on to their imperious way of life, while the revolution was taking place outside the palace gates.
This book takes you inside the palace during crucial times of Haile Selassie's reign. You get a sense of what the people were thinking, but did anyone ever know what Haile Selassie was actually thinking?
am 20. August 1997
Reading this nonfiction account of Haile Selassie's long goodbye, the reader soon shares the sentiments expressed in the book by some Ethiopian students, "My God, how can anything like this exist?" Kapuscinski's assembled witnesses tell tales of a bizarre and surreal empire no writer of fiction could ever imagine. This book is filled with memorable and evocative passages - scenes of rag-clad beggars fighting for scraps from the opulent banquet going on just feet away; of once-dignified and imperious courtiers squabbling over blankets as they wait to be dragged away to prison by the members of a military junta; and, most pathetically, of a washed-up and defeated emperor hiding his money in a set of holy books and under a carpet to prevent it from being taken away to be "nationalized." While this is ostensibly the story of Haile Selassie's fall from power, excised of names, places and dates it becomes the story of any dictator's seedy demise. As such it makes an interesting companion to Gabriel Garcia Marquez's classic, "The Autumn of the Patriarch," another powerful work on the decay of dicatorial authority. At turns humorous and horrifying, amusing and appaling, ridiculous and realistic, "The Emperor" makes worthy and unforgettable reading, both as history and as great literature
am 13. Februar 2000
Great historical book describing the mood of the palace in Ethiopia under the rule of Haile Selassie. Excellent in its description of mood. You actually see the insanity and chaos that Selassie created and nurtured in his palace and metaphorically thoughout his country. And by the end of the book, you understand how the King of Kings was destroyed by the monster he created. The style was unlike any book I'd read in the past. It was really exceptionally well done.