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.
In this gripping tale of turmoil and triumph on the high seas, Horatio Hornblower emerges from his apprenticeship as midshipman to face new responsibilities thrust upon him by the fortunes of war between Napoleon and Spain. Enduring near-mutiny, bloody hand-to-hand combat with Spanish seamen, deck-splintering sea battles, and the violence and horror of life on the fighting ships of the Napoleonic Wars, the young lieutenant distinguishes himself in his first independent command. He also faces an adventure unique in his experience: Maria.
MacNee ( and ) is a superb choice to read this ripping yarn—the third in Forester's expert and exciting series about a young naval officer who rises rapidly through the ranks to become one of England's heroes in the battles against Napoleon's huge fleet of fast and formidably armed frigates. MacNee is perfect as the young Horatio Hornblower, who listeners meet on his wedding day in 1803. The couple's romance succumbs to history as the dastardly French prepare to attack. With the possible exception of Patrick O'Brian, nobody else writes about sea battles with the perfect control of Forester, and MacNee uses all his acting skills to keep the action moving. A few sound effects might have been in order during the fighting scenes, but one can't have everything.
"Hornblower and the Widow McCool" is a short story by C. S. Forester, featuring his fictional naval hero, Horatio Hornblower. It was published together with the unfinished novel Hornblower and the Crisis and another short story, "The Last Encounter". It is titled "Hornblower's Temptation" in certain US editions.
The story is set very early in Hornblower's career, in 1799 or 1800, after Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, but before Lieutenant Hornblower.
In the wake of a humbling incident aboard a canal boat in the Cotswolds, young Captain Horatio Hornblower arrives in London to take command of the Atropos, a 22-gun sloop barely large enough to require a captain. Her first assignment under Hornblower's command is as flagship for the funeral procession of Lord Nelson. Soon Atropos is part of the Mediterranean Fleet's harassment of Napoleon, recovering treasure that lies deep in Turkish waters and boldly challenging a Spanish frigate several times her size. At the center of each adventure is Hornblower, Forester's most inspired creation, whose blend of cautious preparation and spirited execution dazzles friend and foe alike.
Adventure fiction. June, 1808 – and off the Coast of Nicaragua Captain Horatio Hornblower has his hands full… Now in command of HMS Lydia, a thirty-six-gun frigate, Hornblower has instructions to form an alliance against the Spanish colonies with a mad and messianic revolutionary, El Supremo; to find a water route across the Central American isthmus; and ‘to take, sink, burn or destroy’ the fifty-gun Spanish ship of the line Natividad – or face court-martial. And as if that wasn't hard enough, Hornblower must also contend with the charms of an unwanted passenger: Lady Barbara Wellesley… This is the seventh of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.
May 1810, seventeen years deep into the Napoleonic Wars. Captain Horatio Hornblower is newly in command of his first ship of the line, the seventy-four-gun HMS Sutherland, which he deems “the ugliest and least desirable two-decker in the Navy List.” Moreover, she is 250 men short of a full crew, so Hornblower must enlist and train “poachers, bigamists, sheepstealers,” and other landlubbers. By the time the Sutherland reaches the blockaded Catalonian coast of Spain, the crew is capable of staging five astonishing solo raids against the French. But the grisly prospect of defeat and capture looms for both captain and crew as the Sutherland single-handedly takes on four French ships.
In this ninth installment in the Hornblower series, the incomparable Horatio Hornblower, recently knighted and settled in as squire of the village of Smallbridge, has been designated commodore of his own squadron of ships, led by the two-decker and bound for the Baltic. It is 1812, and Hornblower has been ordered to do anything and everything possible, diplomatically and militarily, to protect the Baltic trade and to stop the spread of Napoleon's empire into Sweden and Russia. Though he has set sail a hero, one misstep may ruin his chances of ever becoming an admiral. Hostile armies, seductive Russian royalty, nautical perils such as ice-bound bays, assassins in the imperial palace—Hornblower must conquer all before he can return home to his beloved new wife and son, as his instructions are to sacrifice every man and ship under his command rather than surrender ground to Napoleon.
In this, the tenth volume in C.S. Forester's series of classic naval adventure tales, Horatio Hornblower must rescue a man he knows to be a tyrant from the mutiny of his crew—a dubious chore, but one that leads Hornblower, with the aid of his old love, Marie, to the glorious conclusion of his own battle with Napoleon.
The eleventh tale of naval adventure in C.S. Forester's Hornblower series finds Horatio Hornblower an admiral struggling to impose order in the chaotic aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. As commander-in-chief of His Majesty's ships and vessels in the West Indies, he must take on pirates, revolutionaries, and a blistering hurricane. The war is over, but peaceful it is not.
"The Last Encounter" is a short story by C. S. Forester, the final chapter in the life of his fictional naval hero, Horatio Hornblower. It was published together with the unfinished novel Hornblower and the Crisis and another short story, "Hornblower and the Widow McCool".
HMS of two decks and seventyfour guns, Captain Horatio Hornblower, was on her way north from Gibraltar to her rendezvous in the Western Mediterranean. To port lay the coast of Spain; to starboard, and barely in sight, just peeping over the horizon, lay the hilltops of one of the Balearic Islands, Ibiza. Spain was now an ally of England, and it was no business of the Sutherland’s to intercept Spanish trade or fight Spanish ships of war. Only the French were now enemies, and the French conquest of Spain had not progressed as far south yet as Valencia. It was to take a hand in the struggle in Catalonia that the Sutherland–at least so Hornblower suspected—was being sent north. Meanwhile he had little enough to worry him; a full crew, a wellfound ship, and nothing special to do …
In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives; of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom; of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her; of primitive festivals; of big game that were her near neighbors—lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes—and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful.
Part diary and part reportage, is a remarkable chronicle of war in the late twentieth century. Between 1958 and 1980, working primarily for the Polish Press Agency, Kapuscinski covered twenty-seven revolutions and coups in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Here, with characteristic cogency and emotional immediacy, he recounts the stories behind his official press dispatches — searing firsthand accounts of the frightening, grotesque, and comically absurd aspects of life during war. is a singular work of journalism.
In 1975, Angola was tumbling into pandemonium; everyone who could was packing crates, desperate to abandon the beleaguered colony. With his trademark bravura, Ryszard Kapuscinski went the other way, begging his was from Lisbon and comfort to Luanda — once famed as Africa's Rio de Janeiro — and chaos.
Angola, a slave colony later given over to mining and plantations, was a promised land for generations of poor Portuguese. It had belonged to Portugal since before there were English-speakers in North America. After the collapse of the fascist dictatorship in Portugal in 1974, Angola was brusquely cut loose, spurring the catastrophe of a still-ongoing civil war. Kapuscinski plunged right into the middle of the drama, driving past thousands of haphazardly placed check-points, where using the wrong shibboleth was a matter of life and death; recording his imporessions of the young soldiers — from Cuba, Angola, South Africa, Portugal — fighting a nebulous war with global repercussions; and examining the peculiar brutality of a country surprised and divided by its newfound freedom.
In 1957, Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa to witness the beginning of the end of colonial rule as the first African correspondent of Poland's state newspaper. From the early days of independence in Ghana to the ongoing ethnic genocide in Rwanda, Kapuscinski has crisscrossed vast distances pursuing the swift, and often violent, events that followed liberation. Kapuscinski hitchhikes with caravans, wanders the Sahara with nomads, and lives in the poverty-stricken slums of Nigeria. He wrestles a king cobra to the death and suffers through a bout of malaria. What emerges is an extraordinary depiction of Africa-not as a group of nations or geographic locations-but as a vibrant and frequently joyous montage of peoples, cultures, and encounters. Kapuscinski's trenchant observations, wry analysis and overwhelming humanity paint a remarkable portrait of the continent and its people. His unorthodox approach and profound respect for the people he meets challenge conventional understandings of the modern problems faced by Africa at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains" by Isabella L Bird (1831 — 1904) represents a series of the author’s letters to her sister, written during her journey to Colorado. In a six-month period of time she covered over a thousand miles alone, riding a horse, often without any appointed destination. The book is actually a detailed record of this fascinating experience filled with beautiful, vivid descriptions of the scenery, the people she met, their way of life. Among others was "Rocky Mountain Jim" Nugent, a rough man, whom she portrayed as an "awful looking a ruffian as one could see”, but who became her guide and companion, and appears in the book in a romantic outlook. A well brought-up young lady, she rode through the American West, wearing Hawaiian riding dress, climbed mountains and helped with grazing.
The non-fiction book narrates about a horrendous journey of Donner Party. In 1846 a large party of emigrants crossed western plains from Missouri to California. On their way they were blocked in the mountain pass and had to survive a long winter without food. The starvation led to cannibalism. Only a half of the party reached California's lush country.
O'Donoghue tells what happened when he entered the 1991 Iditarod, along with 17 sled dogs with names like Rainy, Harley and Screech. O'Donoghue braved snowstorms, sickening wipeouts, and endured the contempt of more experienced racers. Narrated with icy elan and self deprecating wit, this is a true story of heroism, cussedness, and astonishing dumb luck.
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