Books: King of Kings


by Ryszard Kapuściński

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

164 pages; $12.95

"On the topmost throne of the world, we are still seated on our rear ends," observed Montaigne in the 16th century. Just how ludicrous are the presumptions of temporal power was illustrated in 1974 by the dethronement of the King of Kings, Elect of God, Lion of Judah, His Most Puissant Majesty and Distinguished Highness the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie. Few 20th century rulers have reigned with more imperial assurance and panache. A charmer, a demagogue and a despot with an implacable will to power, Haile Selassie had...

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