Born in Pinsk, now in Belarus, in 1932, Kapuscinski was the pre-eminent writer among Polish reporters. Kapuscinski's best-known book is just such a reportage-novel of the decline of Haile Selassie's anachronistic regime in Ethiopia - The Emperor, which has been translated into many languages. Shah of Shahs, about the last Shah of Iran, and Imperium, about the last days of the Soviet Union, have enjoyed similar success. He died in January 2007.Neal Ascherson was born in Edinburgh in 1932, and has worked as a journalist all his life - mostly as a foreign correspondent in east-central Europe and in Africa. For some 12 years he was a columnist on The Observer and The Independent on Sunday. He wrote two books about Poland, and his recent works include Black Sea (1995) and Stone Voices (2002). Neal Ascherson lives in London and is married to the journalist and broadcaster Isabel Hilton.
""[The Emperor]" transcends reportage, becoming a nightmare of power... An unforgettable, fiercely comic, and finally compassionate book."--Salman Rushdie "Kapuscinski transcends the limitations of journalism and writes with the narrative power of a Conrad or Kipling or Orwell."--Blake Morrison "A Stunning exhibit; the interviewed subjects. . .enunciate their memories of the days of Haile Selassie with a magical elegance that. . .achieves poetry and aphorism."--John Updike, "The New Yorker"