Ryszard Kapuściński's last book, The Soccer War -a revelation of the contemporary experience of war prompted John le Carre to call the author "the conjurer extraordinary of modern reportage." Now, in Imperium, Kapuściński gives us a work of equal emotional force and evocative power: a personal, brilliantly detailed exploration of the almost unfathomably complex Soviet em...more
Kapuscinski was (he died early this year) a Polish Journalist extraordinaire who spent his life (he nearly died numerous times in the field) covering Coups, Wars and any other havoc he could fly into.
Imperium is about his travels, by plane, train, car, horse, whatever through the Soviet Union...more specifically: Siberia. The heartbreak he describes in these...more
As he is travelling (a lot of Central Asia and Siberia) he delves into history, politics, mythology... seamlessly leaping from first person encounters into the stories of a place. In his leaps he reminds me of Sebald. And the things that he describes often seem impossible, fantastical... but they are real. It would be great to read this with...more
Having given Kapuscinski the credit he obviously deserves for his writing, I believe there is some points that should be done.
-First Kapuscinski stands on the shoulders of giants. His writing is to a great extent the result of the local peopl...more
He died in the last year and his obituary was amazing. He travelled all over the world as a foreign correspondent during the period of Soviet domination of Poland. He wrote really insightful books based on his travels (particularly in South America).
This book, Imperium, is about his dealings with the Soviet Empire. Not exactly uplifting but very interesting.
Having returned from election observation missions in Ukraine, I was shocked by his stories of the famine imposed on Ukraine by Stalin in the 1930's. Millions died of sta...more
Happy (belated) Birthday 2002
Translated from the Polish by Klara Glowczewska. The book is in three sections:
First Encounters (1939-1967)
From the Preface: I tell about the entrance of soviet troops into my hometowm in the Peloise region of Poland (today this is Belorussia), and a journey across a snow-covered and desolate Siberia, about an expedition to Transcaucasia and to the republics of Centr...more
I purposefully stopped my study of Russian History at the revolution - I'm interested in everything before it, and horrified at almost everything after it. However, I took the leap to see what this author, who experienced Soviet rule by growing up in Poland. I wasn't disappointed.
While I'm not quite sure that all his facts are 100% (there was only one unsubstantiated case of cannabalism during the 1930's famine in Russia,...more
It is difficult to put a finger on what it actually is -- travelogue vignettes is about as close as I can come to describing it. Kapuscinksi is a Polish journalist who traveled througout the Soviet Union when few other people could. As he traveled, he recorded his impressions throughout the years beginning with the Soviet occupation of Eastern Poland. His observations are relatively apolitical. They are...more
Excelente visita a la Unión Sovietica. Tal vez un poco confusa, pero tiene una carga historica relevante e interesante. Ryszard viaja por varios paises y explica sus dramas desde la intima plebe hasta la danza macabra de los...more
I knew like everyone of its exalted revolutionary beginnings, then the violence, the huge variety of nations and peoples conquered, the corruption, the absurd length the political class went to in order to keep existing... I had never considered that the URSS was an empire, not "just" the largest c...more
Point to ponder: "There was not one American Political Scientist who predicted the collapse of the USSR."