Cover image for A concise history of Poland
A concise history of Poland
Lukowski, Jerzy.
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Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xviii, 317 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm.
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Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
DK4140 .L85 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Poland is a country which sporadically hits the headlines of the Anglo-Saxon world. It has suffered the dubious distinction of being wiped off the political map in 1795 to be resurrected after the First World War only to suffer apparent annihilation during the Second, with reduction to satellite status of the Soviet Union only to emerge in the van of resistance to Soviet domination during the 1980s. Yet the history of Poland remains comparatively little known. This book offers a brief, non-specialist introduction to Polish history, from medieval times to the present day, and is the only short history of Poland available in English. It concentrates essentially on political development which, particularly for the pre-nineteenth-century period, still remains little known to English readers. The book also includes much material on relations with Germany, Russia, the Ukraine, Lithuania, and other neighbouring states.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This volume, like others devoted to selected countries in the "Cambridge Concise Histories" series, seeks to provide a historical introduction for "general readers, travelers, and members of the business community" and to serve as a university or college textbook. Clearly written in straightforward prose with many witty comments and pithy insights, the book succeeds admirably. Lukowski (Univ. of Birmingham) and Zawadzki (Abingdon College) have solidly grounded their book in current research. It is rather brief on the first eight centuries of Polish history (100 pages to the partitions of the 18th century), but the treatment of the last two centuries, including a short discussion of developments since 1989, is fuller and quite effective. The focus of the book is on political matters, but social and cultural issues figure also. The major issues in postpartition Poland (Romanticism, realism, modernization, nationalism, and the like) are presented dispassionately, and the authors' interpretations, including those on such potentially difficult problems as Polish-Jewish relations, are likely to be uncontroversial. Maps and illustrations are particularly well chosen and helpful, as is the seven-page bibliography of works in English. All levels and collections. P. W. Knoll University of Southern California

Table of Contents

note on Polish pronunciation
List of illustrations
List of maps
Part I Poland to 1795
1 Piast Poland, ? -1385
2 Jagiellonian Poland, 1385-1572
3 The commonwealth of the two nations, 1572-1795
Part II Poland after 1795
4 Challenging the partitions, 1795-1864
5 An era of transformation, 1864-1914
6 Independence regained and lost, 1914-1945
7 Communism and beyond, 1945-?
Genealogical charts of Polish rulers
Lists of heads of state, presidents, communist party leaders, 1918-2000