Synopses & Reviews
This timely account of Poland's modern history, from the end of the 19th
century to the present day, positions the country within the context of Europe, using the events of Poland's past to illustrate and illuminate the global forces that have transformed the world over the last century.
Challenging traditional, nationalistic accounts of heroism and tragedy, the author sets the major political events in Polish history alongside broader developments within society. He provides particular insight into the regional, cultural and economic diversity of the country, and focusses on the experience of individuals' daily lives. For instance, readers learn of the day-to-day relations between people of differing religion and language between the two world wars, the realities of life in the Warsaw ghetto; what Stalin's industrial expansion meant for the peasants who took up factory jobs in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the effects of changing concepts of masculinity and femininity over time. The result is a lively and nuanced historical overview that recognizes both the particularities and the universality of modern Poland’s story.
Poland in the Modern World
presents a history of the country from the late nineteenth century to the present, incorporating new perspectives from social and cultural history and positioning it in a broad global context
- Challenges traditional accounts Poland that tend to focus on national, political history, emphasizing the country's 'exceptionalism'.
- Presents a lively, multi-dimensional story, balancing coverage of high politics with discussion of social, cultural and economic changes, and their effects on individuals’ daily lives.
- Explores both the regional diversity within Poland and the country’s place within Europe and the wider world.
- Provides a new interpretive framework for understanding key historical events in Poland’s modern history, including the experiences of World War II and the postwar communist era.
About the Author
Brian Porter-Szücs is Professor of History at the University of Michigan, where he has taught since 1994. He is the author of Faith and Fatherland: Catholicism, Modernity, and Poland (2011) and When Nationalism Began to Hate: Imagining Modern Politics in Nineteenth-Century Poland (2000). He is also the co-editor, with Bruce Berglund, of Christianity and Modernity in Eastern Europe (2010).
Table of Contents
List of Figures vi
Pronunciation Guide x
1 Poles without Poland, 1795–1918 6
2 The Political Landscape at the Start of the 20th Century 43
3 Nation and/or Revolution, 1914–22 65
4 The Ambivalence of Democracy and Authority, 1922–39 90
5 Hyperinflation and Depression: The Interwar Period 105
6 Jews, Ukrainians, and Other Poles in the Interwar Period 126
7 World War II, 1939–45 144
8 Conquest or Revolution? 1945–56 186
9 The Year 1956 and the Rise of National Communism 231
10 Communism and Consumerism 258
11 The End of the PRL, 1976–89 285
12 Shock Therapy 328
13 Politics in the Third Republic 348