By Ryszard Kapuscinski
The Polish journalist whose The football War and The Emperor are counted as classics of up to date reportage now bears witness in Imperium to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This magisterial e-book combines youth reminiscence with unblinking journalism, a radar for the reality with a willing appreciation of the absurd.
Imperium starts off with Ryszard Kapuscinski's account of the Soviet career of his city in japanese Poland in 1939. It culminates fifty years later, with a forty-thousand-mile trip that takes him from the haunted corridors of the Kremlin to the deserted gulag of Kolyma, from a miners' strike within the arctic circle to a panic-stricken bus trip throughout the war-torn Caucasus.
Out of passivity and paranoia, ethnic hatred and non secular fanaticism that experience riven generations of jap Europeans, Kapuscinski has composed a symphony for a collapsing empire—a paintings that interprets historical past into the hopes and sufferings of the people condemned to dwell it.