During the year the Berlin Wall came down, as the empire convulsed and died, Kapuscinski talked to hundreds of ordinary people about their extraordinary lives and the terror from which they were emerging. Imperium is a race to capture people's memories, and their fears for the future, before the wonderful, terrible events of 1989 receded into the past.
Ryszard Kapuscinski was born in 1932. During his four decades of reporting on Asia, Latin America and Africa, Kapuscinski witnessed 27 coups and revolutions and was sentenced to death four times. His books include The Shadow of the Sun, The Emperor, Another Day of Life, The Shah of Shahs and The Soccer War (Granta Books). He died in January 2007.