The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat, published in , is Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuściński’s analysis of the decline and fall of Haile Selassie’s regime in. While the fighting still raged, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Poland’s leading foreign correspondent, traveled to Ethiopia to seek out and interview Selassie’s servants . El Emperador. Front Cover. Ryszard Kapuscinski. Anagrama, Feb 28, Ryszard Kapuscinski was born in His books have been translated into

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A man doesn’t seize an ax in defense of his wallet, but in defense of his dignity, and that, dear sir, is why His Majesty scolded the clerks. There is something about each of these images that causes the reader to pause and think, and remember them afterwards. Go to other writers for the facts, go Kapuscinski for something more. This is a deplorable act of biased journalism, specifically targeting a great world leader.

Trivia About The Emperor.

The august yrszard were not allowed to flinch or make the slightest gesture when they felt their feet getting wet. It most reminded me of the second half of Murakami’s underground, when the brainwashed former cultists still adhered to the Aum Shinrikyo ethos. The fabric of the story gives us that answer, for Ethiopia was just such a place. The downfall of autocracies seems to follow the same painful pattern they have for thousands of years.

But more decisive are the its own internal contradictions.

El emperador: la historia del extrañísimo señor de Ethiopía – Ryszard Kapuściński – Google Books

If these interviews are credible then Ryszard Kapuscinski has shed light on the matter. The delighted crowd went round to the indicated spot – which enabled His Supreme Majesty to leave unembarrassed through the front door and go the Old Palace, where the court awaited him.

Feb 22, Donna Kirk marked it as to-read. One part in particular that got me incensed, was the account of the hired laborers only working while under the supervision of the foremen. The Emperorin short, has all the qualities of a perfect book. There were sections here where I lost interest mainly as a result of repetitionbut what will always stick with me are the little absurdities the revolution starting at a fashion show; the Swiss calisthenics instructors appearing days before the fall of the empire to conduct fitness classes ; and the fascinating, depressing glimpses of professionalism in the person whose sole job was to open the door at exactly the right time, the person whose sole job was to bow just so on the hour, and the person who had to choose the right pillow out of 64 options to slide under The Emperor’s tiny feet.


How can they desire what they cannot imagine? And the answer is a mind-boggling no. In the last days he would comfort the Emperor by leading him to the chapel, where he could not hear the unruly mob, and would read to him from the Biblical prophets: The book’s structure takes a straightforward path.

I was very interested in hearing voices from other cultures.

Ryszard Kapuscinski

The greed of the appointed dignitaries drained the country of it’s wealth and power, this is not ryssard new a revelation as this book would suggest. 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.

Marie Antoinette allegedly told the starving to eat cake if they have no bread, Haile Selassie decided to build dams while his country was in the midst of famine. Tafari rated it really liked it. These simple masons gathered in front of the Palace they had built and began asking for want was due to them. Published March 13th by Vintage first published Set up the throne and roll out the carpet?

But the extremes of hierarchy leave the tragic fates of the many to deface a benighted land. That would only make it more ridiculous.

The Emperor (book) – Wikipedia

Jul 28, R. Wmperador to critique autocracy in genera,l as in general most dictatorships are the same wh The Emperor is a bizarre and at time grotesquely comic portrait of the last Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie.

Kzpuscinski rather than being strict reportage, I suppose the American frame of reference for The Emperor is probably the “new journalism” stuff from the ’60s– Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe, Hunter Thompson, all that. If he doesn’t come across anyone to lie to, he will lie to himself in his own thoughts.


The author interviews empsrador, associates and servants of the Emperor Haile Selassie in the months just after his dethronement. The Supreme Master of Palace Ceremony appeared on the balcony and asked them to move to the rear of the palace, where His Magnanimous Highness would shower them with money.

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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.

He’ll grab an ax, my gracious sir, not because he simply can’t sustain this new burden – he could carry it – he will rise because he feels that, in throwing the second burden onto his back suddenly and stealthily, you have tried to cheat him, you have treated him like an unthinking animal, you have trampled what remains of his already strangled dignity, taken him for an idiot who doesn’t see, feel, or understand. Oct 13, Monica rated it really liked it Shelves: 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.


The Emperor

If one will enperador allow himself to wrong others, he will wrong himself. Dialogue seems tad polished to be from real interviews, and seems to me to be a pointed allegory for the Soviet Union.

This was my job for ten years. It speaks to the undoing of African leaders. May 13, Tyler rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: In my opinion, Kapuscinski is better suited to write short anecdotes and make anthropological observations while on his reporting assignments.

He was very progressive in many ways, and he was quite eccentric as well. In this emperor, this court, and this society, a primordial human drama demands its stage. Return to Book Page. Oct 24, Andrew added it Shelves: