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by Ryszard Kapuscinski

  • ISBN: 0679426191
  • Category: History
  • Author: Ryszard Kapuscinski
  • Subcategory: Military
  • Other formats: lrf txt lit docx
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Knopf (September 7, 1994)
  • Pages: 331 pages
  • FB2 size: 1178 kb
  • EPUB size: 1897 kb
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Votes: 392
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FREE shipping on qualifying offers. 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.

Ryszard Kapuściński (Polish: (listen); March 4, 1932 – January 23, 2007) was a Polish journalist, photographer, poet and author. He received many awards and was considered a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature

Ryszard Kapuściński (Polish: (listen); March 4, 1932 – January 23, 2007) was a Polish journalist, photographer, poet and author. He received many awards and was considered a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Kapuściński's personal journals in book form attracted both controversy and admiration for blurring the conventions of reportage with the allegory and magical realism of literature.

Ryszard Kapuscinski's last book, The Soccer War -a revelation of the contemporary experience of war .

Ryszard Kapuscinski'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.

Imperium" was the first Ryszard Kapuscinski book I read. I have since bought and read each of this other books if that tells you anything. 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. more specifically: Siberia. The heartbreak he describes in these "Imperium" was the first Ryszard Kapuscinski book I read.

Kapuscinski Ryszard (EN). Ryszard Kapuscinski'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, Kapuscinski gives us a work of equal emotional force and evocative power: a personal, brilliantly detailed exploration of the almost unfathomably complex Soviet empire in our time.

Электронная книга "Imperium", Ryszard Kapuscinski Ryszard Kapuscinski was born in eastern Poland in 1932.

Электронная книга "Imperium", Ryszard Kapuscinski. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "Imperium" для чтения в офлайн-режиме. Ryszard Kapuscinski was born in eastern Poland in 1932.

Imperium Ryszard Kapuscinski. 43 people like this topic. Want to like this Page?

Imperium Ryszard Kapuscinski.

Ryszard Kapuscinski - 'Imperium'. Closely Observed Literature. You can also follow me here

Ryszard Kapuscinski'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, Kapuscinski gives us a work of equal emotional force and evocative power: a personal, brilliantly detailed exploration of the almost unfathomably complex Soviet empire in our time.He begins with his own childhood memories of the postwar Soviet occupation of Pinsk, in what was then Poland's eastern frontier ("something dreadful and incomprehensible...in this world that I enter at seven years of age"), and takes us up to 1967, when, as a journalist just starting out, he traveled across a snow-covered and desolate Siberia, and through the Soviet Union's seven southern and Central Asian republics, territories whose individual histories, cultures, and religions he found thriving even within the "stiff, rigorous corset of Soviet power."Between 1989 and 1991, Kapuscinski made a series of extended journeys through the disintegrating Soviet empire, and his account of these forms the heart of the book. Bypassing official institutions and itineraries, he traversed the Soviet territory alone, from the border of Poland to the site of the most infamous gulags in far-eastern Siberia (where "nature pals it up with the executioner"), from above the Arctic Circle to the edge of Afghanistan, visiting dozens of cities and towns and outposts, traveling more than 40,000 miles, venturing into the individual lives of men, women, and children in order to Understand the collapsing but still various larger life of the empire.Bringing the book to a close is a collection of notes which, Kapuscinski writes, "arose in the margins of my journeys" -- reflections on the state of the ex-USSR and on his experience of having watched its fate unfold "on the screen of a television set...as well as on the screen of the country's ordinary, daily reality, which surrounded me during my travels." It is this "schizophrenic perception in two different dimensions" that enabled Kapuscinski to discover and illuminate the most telling features of a society in dire turmoil.Imperium is a remarkable work from one of the most original and sharply perceptive interpreters of our world -- galvanizing narrative deeply informed by Kapuscinski's limitless curiosity and his passion for truth, and suffused with his vivid sense of the overwhelming importance of history as it is lived, and of our constantly shifting places within it.
Reviews about Imperium (7):
A gathering of essays and impressions over the years (starting with a flashback to his early childhood in Polish speaking, Nazi-invaded Belorussia) and featuring Kapuscinski's two years of wanderings around the imploding republics in the early 90s. Perhaps the most fascinating insights are derived from his conversations about the peak Stalin years, and the innumerable blind gaffes (and knowingly perpetrated acts of icy bureaucratic inhumanity) which buffeted every region from the Baltic States to the Caucasus to Baikal to deep Siberia. At times it reads like a nightmare, at times like a surreal document from the 15th century, at times like letters home from the front. Indispensable to an understanding of modern Russia.
Reading Ryszard Kapuscinski is like sitting at the knee of a master storyteller! The tales he tells are amazing, horrific, informative, fabulous--all the things a great storyteller weaves into a tale. The only thing is that Kapuscinski does not make up his stories. He boarded (he is deceased) trains and planes for far-flung places--all in the name of news gathering. However, what Kapuscinski delivers then is not just news, but his dry-eyed observations of humans in all their glory, all their disgusting or disquieting ways, their cruelties, their passions, even their incredible, often feeble attempts just to survive, and amazingly, in this context, their jubilations, their small victories, and their powerful will to live. Kapusciski is a master all right: of human nature, of writing, of that rare ability to inform, entertain, and evaluate. He is a newsman extraordinaire.

In "Imperium" Kapuscinski turns that extraordinary talent to---call it what you will---the U.S.S.R.---the Soviet Union---Russia and her satellites. He visits, in many cases, multiple times, every country that made/makes up the U.S.S.R. (He divides his book into three parts, each denoting his travels and findings. They are "First Encounters 1939-1967," detailing his own experiences as a Pole with Soviet power and rules. Then Part 2 concerns his observations from his extensive travels across the USSR from 1989-1991. Part 3 (1992-1993)is comprised of his astute commentaries, fascinating reading!) Back to the USSR: I was simply amazed at the extent of differences of each country, of the almost phenomenal ability of the Soviet ruling elite to hold such a disparate world together. But at what unconscionable cost?

That's the horror of the story--the horror of mass exterminations that went far, far beyond whatever goals Hitler and his Nazis conceived and carried out. Six millions? A mere pittance in comparison! Kapuscinski's figures in support of the vulgar, despicable number of deaths carried out by Stalin and later Soviet powers are more than shocking! Here's just one figure concerning one circumstance out of dozens: "Stalin starved to death around ten million people" (285). His chapter about the Great Famine will make you absolutely weep that such a distorted and vile creature as Stalin was allowed to live. The reader truly learns the meaning of the words "totalitarian" and "tyrant."

But there's also a creative passion. After the dissolution of the Soviet Empire, Kapuscinski tells the reader about a wondrous story in the making. In Belarussia, there are the ruins of a church, felled by German artillery fire during WWII, where someone discovered bits of colored fresco. Prof. Grekov made it his life's work--and his students--to put that shattered fresco back together. Imagine! (Is this tear from Mary at the loss of her son or from the Mary who discovered the resurrection? Is this bit of fire from the burning bush or the fire of hell?) And it is Grekov's imagination that Kapuscinski celebrates. This long quote will show that imagination, that spirit and tenacity of the people, and, most of all, Kapuscinski's magnificent ability to weave facts and observation into gossamer, but gossamer with tensile strength:

"And thus observing how from thousands of particles, bits, and crumbs, from dust, molecules, and pebbles, the professor and his students have been for years piecing together portraits of saints, sinners, and legends, I feel as though I were a witness, in this cold and dusty underground, to the birth of the sky and of the earth, of all the colors and shapes, angels and kings, light and darkness, good and evil" (302).

So it is with the reader in discovering Kapuscinski's own talents. My personal pick of his most profound talent is that of observation of human nature, which then provides the reader with astute commentary. His explanation of the Russian mafias is illuminating. When Russian mafia figures began showing up in news and then films, I was perplexed. Mafias in Russia? How was this possible in a world of the KGB and totalitarian government? The answer? Bezprizorny! Homeless children! Beginning with the deaths caused by World War I, then October 1917, then civil war and mass starvation resulting from weather and by tyrant--a new class of social strata was born, or hatched, or exploded like Athena from Zeus's head: A new class--the bezprizorny by the thousands. Their goals: find food, find shelter. With no adults to guide them (if there were adults, living conditions still would not be conducive to developing healthy children either physically or emotionally) these pitiful children lived however they could, becoming more and more dangerous as their numbers doubled, tripled.

Eventually, they formed their own mafias and lived by mafia rules: stealing and squaring accounts. Today's Russian mafias are the grandchildren of this class. Each successive event in Russia--the second world war, postwar purges, accelerating corruption of government, disintegration of the USSR---all contributed to the huge numbers of homeless children who produced children and grandchildren, who make up today's powerful and horrifyingly violent mafias. In fact, there are three distinct mafias: the Russian Mafia (from Russia proper--a whole other story in his book), the Caucasian Mafia (all other ex-Soviet countries), and the Asiatic Mafia (those from Islam regions, a huge population in the former USSR).

I could tell story after story from Kapuscinski's book-- (For example, the story of Turkmenistan, the country of the desert, a place of riches and freedom, but not by America's standard of riches and freedom! This story alone--its explanation of the power of the desert--is worth the price of the book) --so packed it is with horror and passion, but each time I relate a story, I know it is taken out of context. Kapuscinski's account is causally and historically driven. There is an order, a precise arrangement in relating the stories about the USSR and its dissolved union. The only real way to learn this information, this series of inspired scrutinies of days past and days future is to read the book. Whatever I write will never do this book justice. You will also discover that one reading is not enough to absorb the expanse of space and time that that fills Kapuscinski's book.

"Imperium" is not a book to miss, if you want to learn what the USSR really was. You must order it today! Two other books by this writer that I also highly recommend are "The Other" and "Travels with Herodotus."

Thanks to GB who introduced me to Kapuscinski, currently my favorite writer.

Note: I see in previewing what I wrote before I hit the publish button that I was totally correct. I did not do this book justice. It is so much more-much, much more-- than the few words I wrote.
I read his book on Herodotus (actually, his reading of Herodotus while on his many travels) and liked it a lot. So I bought this book and am not disappointed.

I've learned a lot about Russia and the former Soviet Union--for instance, how much of a Turkic empire the former central asian republics are. Most of those former "republics" are occupied by Turkic people who speak a common language and can readily understand one another.

We are all now aware of the Stalinist brutality that existed. But this book really brings it home and just how hard and grueling life has been in the imperium and how much it continues to be so, especially in the outlying areas.

The author notes that Russian demographers have estimated that between 1918 and 1953, between WWI and the Stalinist terror, between 55 and 110 million Russians died of unnatural causes. The full horror of the prison camps--in Siberia, for example, over one-third of those who entered died in prison--the forced starvation and murder of over 10 million Ukrainians, and the appalling harshness of life and environmental depradations that Bolshevism brought are revealed into full view in his writing.

The author, who writes this book in the early 1990's and died a few years later, is hardly optimistic in his assessment of what lies in store for Russia and the former republics.

The book is a real eye-opener about what is going on in Russia today.

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