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Poland under Communism: A Cold War History…

Poland under Communism: A Cold War History

by A. Kemp-Welch

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As the back cover says, this is the first English-language book detailing Communist Poland. Kemp-Welch relies heavily on Polish state archives and Polish-language sources, including many works written by those directly involved. It is thus an important book for anyone who has an interest in the subject.

That said, it is not an introductory book, nor for someone who is unfamiliar with the intricacies of the era or the people involved. Names and details are given with no background provided, as it is assumed that the reader knows who they are; this goes not just for major figures like Walesa and Jaruzelski, but more minor characters as well. It also can be a difficult and slow read at times, and often strays outside of Poland's borders to examine events in neighbouring countries as well. That said, it is meticulously detailed and a welcome addition to anyone who is serious about studying the history of Poland, Communism, or even the Cold War. ( )
  kaiser_matias | Jul 7, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521884403, Hardcover)

This 2008 book was the first English-language history of Poland from the Second World War until the fall of Communism. Using a wide range of Polish archives and unpublished sources in Moscow and Washington, Tony Kemp-Welch integrates the Cold War history of diplomacy and inter-state relations with the study of domestic opposition and social movements. His key themes encompass political, social and economic history; the Communist movement and its relations with the Soviet Union; and the broader East-West context with particular attention to US policies. The book concludes with a first-hand account of how Solidarity formed the world's first post-Communist government in 1989 as the Polish people demonstrated what can be achieved by civic courage against apparently insuperable geo-strategic obstacles. This compelling new account will be essential reading for anyone interested in Polish history, the Communist movement and the course of the Cold War.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:37 -0400)

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