Kapuscinski (was: Re: Request for information)

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at SPAMgmx.net
Thu May 4 05:28:19 MDT 2000

John Edmundson asked;
> I'm trying to find the name/author of a book on Ethiopia and Haile
> Selassie which was written by someone whose name sounds East
> European, maybe Polish. They also wrote a thing on Iran and the
> Shah. If anyone has a clue what I'm on about, I'd appreciate the
> reference.
> Cheers,
> John Edmundson

I think thats what you are looking for:

Author: Kapuscinski, Ryszard
Titel: The Emperor : Downfall of an Autocrat
ISBN: 0679722033


Here is what Amazon.com has to write about it:

Haile Selassie, His Most Puissant Majesty and Distinguished Highness the
Emperor of Ethiopia, enjoyed a 44-year reign until his own army gave him the
boot in 1974. In the days following the coup, the Polish journalist Ryszard
Kapuscinski traveled to Ethiopia and sought out members of the imperial
court for interviews. His composite portrait of Selassie's crumbling
imperium is an astonishing, wildly funny creation, beginning with the very
first interview. "It was a small dog," recalls an anonymous functionary, "a
Japanese breed. His name was Lulu. He was allowed to sleep in the Emperor's
great bed. During various ceremonies, he would run away from the Emperor's
lap and pee on dignitaries' shoes. The august gentlemen were not allowed to
flinch or make the slightest gesture when they felt their feet getting wet.
I had to walk among the dignitaries and wipe the urine from their shoes with
a satin cloth. This was my job for ten years." (Well, it's a living.)
Elsewhere, the interviewees venture into tragic or grotesque or downright
unbelievable terrain. Kapuscinski has shaped their testimonies into an
eloquent whole, and while he never alludes to the totalitarian regime that
ruled his native Poland during the same period, the analogy is impossible to

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