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A Concise History of Poland

3rd Edition


Part of Cambridge Concise Histories

  • Date Published: January 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108424363

£ 59.99

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About the Authors
  • Poland is a tenacious survivor-state: it was wiped off the map in 1795, resurrected after the First World War, apparently annihilated again in the Second World War, and reduced to satellite status of the Soviet Union after 1945. Yet it emerged in the vanguard of resistance to the USSR in the 1980s, albeit as a much more homogeneous entity than it had been in its multi-ethnic past. This book outlines Poland's turbulent and complex history, from its medieval Christian origins to the reassertion of that Christian and European heritage after forty-five years of communism. It describes Poland's transformation since 1989, and explains how Poland navigated its way into a new Commonwealth of Nations in the European Union. Recent years have witnessed significant changes within Poland, Eastern Europe and the wider world. This new edition reflects on these changes, and examines the current issues facing a Poland which some would accuse of being out of touch with 'European values'.

    • Offers comprehensive coverage of Poland's troubled history, from its medieval Christian origins to the present day
    • A clear and accessible book designed for use by the student or traveller
    • Numerous illustrations and maps enhance the text and provide additional detail about Poland's ever-changing boundaries
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… lucid, insightful, and often witty and pithy … the authors are especially good in their dispassionate treatment of sensitive political and social issues and challenges, particularly those that have dominated recent decades. These matters include Poland's place in Europe, the role of the Catholic Church, xenophobic and anti-Semitic traditions, and 'the lack of confidence in many of the state's institutions and in the rule of law, coupled with the low quality of much political debate' (as the authors write in the final chapter). Illustrations (two new ones in this edition), maps, ruler lists, and a good English-language bibliography enhance the volume. Recommended.' P. W. Knoll, Choice

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    Product details

    • Edition: 3rd Edition
    • Date Published: January 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108424363
    • length: 528 pages
    • dimensions: 223 x 142 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.83kg
    • contains: 60 b/w illus. 13 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations and maps
    Preface to the third edition
    Preface to the second edition
    Preface to the first edition
    A note on Polish pronunciation
    Part I. Poland, to 1795:
    1. Piast Poland, ?–1385
    2. Jagiellonian Poland, 1386–1572
    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, 1914–45
    7. Communism and the Cold War, 1945–89
    8. A new republic, 1989–
    Geneaological charts of Polish rulers
    List of heads of state, presidents, Communist Party leaders (1918–2018)

  • Authors

    Jerzy Lukowski, University of Birmingham
    Jerzy Lukowski is Emeritus Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Birmingham. His most recent books are The European Nobility in the Eighteenth Century (2003) and Disorderly Liberty: The Political Culture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Eighteenth Century (2010).

    Hubert Zawadzki, Wolfson College, Oxford
    Hubert Zawadzki is an independent scholar and member of Wolfson College at the University of Oxford. He is the author of A Man of Honour: Adam Czartoryski as Statesman of Russia and Poland 1795–1831 (1992), and editor and translator of Irena Protassewicz's A Polish Woman's Experience in World War II (forthcoming). He has given talks on BBC radio and has appeared on BBC TV programmes involving Poland. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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