Haile Selassie, King of Kings, Elect of God, Lion of Judah, His Most Puissant Majesty and Distinguished Highness the Emperor of Ethiopia, reigned from. The Emperor has ratings and reviews. Rowena said: A star rating perhaps. This book contains accounts from those close to Ethiopia’s last em. Kapuscinski visited Ethiopia in , after the revolution which toppled Haile In The Emperor (Polish Cesarz) he worked their stories together, with some direct.

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But more decisive are the its own internal contradictions. Not, of course, that you’d ever believe these are direct transcriptions of interviews, or that Kapuscinski hasn’t modified and tailored these accounts as he sees fit, unless you believe all of the ministers speak in an identical fantastical ironical language.

The end came with famine in the north, student unrest, international attention on Ethiopia, and military rebellions. 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.

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Add all three to Cart Add all three to List. An antediluvian social stucture showcases the raw exercise of power at its stripped-down worst, absent any modern guile.

Quotes from The Emperor. Order by newest oldest recommendations. You cannot go wrong choosing it to read. This book whetted my appetite for learning more about Selassie and Ethiopia. Set up the throne and roll out the carpet?

It rings of Marquez’s Autumn of the Patriarch too – especially in the chilling moment when the Emperor starts trying to govern the very coup that is overthrowing him. I can’t think of a more bitter catalog of the pathologies that accompany political power, and by the end it doesn’t matter all that much who’s in the limo, surrounded by Quislings and sycophants.


A little lesson in the blurred lines between reportage and fiction – a “detailed account” of the fall of Haile Sellasie given by the ministers and servants who once waited upon him. The most penetrating, compelling book on the nature of power and the inevitability of it’s dissolution within the framework of human nature, Kapuscinski’s book should be taught -before- Maciavelli in any self-respecting Political Science class. Furthermore, the facial features become solemn, almost stiffened, more worried and closed, but still capable of a momentary change to optimism or approval.

To ask other readers questions about The Emperorplease sign up. It all felt suddenly very near, and very recent. Additionally, the famine that I when coming to understand the larger world was the primary association with Ethiopia was already a part, an ignored part by the palace, of the Ethiopian landscape and thus an obvious factor in the eventual successful rebellion by among other Ethiopians, the military, university students, and petrol-less taxi drivers.

The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat

Their many points of view make truth a perspectival quest. The vignettes in part one describe a morning in the life of the emperor: Want to Read saving…. These simple masons gathered in front of the Palace they had built and began asking for want was due to them. And while this is still a European take on an African event kapuscibski love to read something written by actual Ethiopians on the subject!

With his unbending antipathy to any kind of social reform, from the s onwards Selassie became out of touch and indifferent to the suffering of his people. A slowing down of movements accompanies this change in the figure.

That would only make it more ridiculous. It speaks to the undoing of African leaders. As a portrait of ossified and ritualised autocracy, however, with layers of bureaucracy preventing information reaching the centre or action being carried out, The Emperor is hard to put down and hard to forget.


Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. All the accounts use reverence when talking about His Imperial Majesty, and yet at the same time slander his name and abilities as emmperor ruler.

Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. I noticed that in the English translation, strangely the poems, I’m assuming were originally in Amharic, rhymed in English. What had been slender and trim-waisted now starts to become a square silhouette.

The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat (Ryszard Kapuscinski)

Because the people never revolt just because they have to carry a heavy load, or because of exploitation. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: By design, mediocrity trumps merit as a tool to balance power and maintain social order, turning the country into a kind of Ayn Rand novel come to life. And with its use of anonymous contributors and lack of references it is hardly a work of history or a reliable source.

Mar 19, Matthew rated it it was ok Shelves: If these interviews are credible then Ryszard Kapuscinski has shed light on the matter. From the waning Gomulka regime forward, Kapuscinski fashioned a journalistic career out of exceedingly subtle swipes at the pretenses and tragicomic self-deception of Soviet-style Communism. The fabric of the story gives us that answer, for Ethiopia was just such a place. The Emperor is a powerful and compelling study.

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The Emperor by Ryszard Kapuściński

The book’s structure takes a straightforward path. August External links: What had been slender and trim-waisted now starts to become a square silhouette. Refresh and try again.