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The emperor : downfall of an autocrat ([New ed.])

By: Kapuscinski, Ryszard Ascherson, Neal(Introduction by)

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics series
0141188030 / 9780141188034
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United Kingdom
20 cm xii, 164 p.
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Previous ed. of this translation: San Diego, Calif.: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983.

After the deposition of Haile Selassie in 1974, which ended the ancient rule of the Abyssinian monarchy, Ryszard Kapuscinski travelled to Ethiopia and sought out surviving courtiers to tell their stories.

Here, their eloquent and ironic voices depict the lavish, corrupt world they had known - from the rituals, hierarchies and intrigues at court to the vagaries of a ruler who maintained absolute power over his impoverished people.

They describe his inexorable downfall as the Ethiopian military approach, strange omens appear in the sky and courtiers vanish, until only the Emperor and his valet remain in the deserted palace, awaiting their fate.

Dramatic and mesmerising, "The Emperor" is one of the great works of reportage and a haunting epitaph on the last moments of a dying regime.


1HFGA Ethiopia, 3JJPL c 1970 to c 1980, HBJH African history, HBLW3 Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000

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