Publisher: Vintage Books
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.
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