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Good Polish History resource (book), any suggestions?

Babinich 1 | 455  
10 Aug 2008 /  #1
I am looking to find the most respected Polish History resource (preferably a book). Can anyone offer me regarding title/author?

Thank you...
EbonyandBathory 5 | 249  
11 Aug 2008 /  #2
There is a two volume book called "God's Playground: the History of Poland" by Norman Davies. For my money is it the most thorough literature on the subject. It begins in the 900s and, if you get the updated version, goes all the way to the 2000s. Very informative. It's a tad dry, however, and a more colorful yet utltimately more incomplete history is "The Polish Way," by Adam Zamoyski. Also for a contempary history around the Solidarity movement there is "The Poles" by Stevens. All three are excellent.
kabcsi 1 | 10  
1 Nov 2008 /  #3
I can also suggest this book to you. Norman Davies is nowadays one of the best historians, he is very open-minded and detached even he's british. I suggest all his books on every topic he wrote about.

I can also suggest Oscar Halecki's works, for example: A History of Poland with additional material by A. Polonski

Cambridge History of Poland could be a good start too.

Jerzy Topolski: A History of Poland
Lori 4 | 118  
7 Nov 2008 /  #4
The Davies book is certainly authoritative. One that I like very much is A Traveller's History of Poland by John Radzilowski. This is very readable and "user friendly."
HWPiel 1 | 64  
16 Nov 2008 /  #5
I will second Davies' God's Playground as it is a very good source, robust and not minor / one-line sentences about Polish history (e.g., Pogonowski's Poland). Zamoyski's The Polish Way is slightly better than Pogonowski's works. I also have found there are many amateur historians, with an interest in Polish History who compose light pieces of topical interest; capturing or regurgitating other's scholarly work.

If you are interested in a specific area of Polish History, there are many great books written at a scholarly level, geared towards academia. Search academic-driven press sources like Yale, CEU Press, Columbia, etc.

I have built my collection of texts up from ebay, and I've been very successful in building a broad-ranged library.

Filios1 8 | 1,336  
16 Nov 2008 /  #6
If you want an easy, novel type read, but one which encapsulates eight centuries of Polish history, you might want to try Poland, by James Michener.

Excellent book.
sjam 2 | 541  
17 Jan 2009 /  #7
If you want a good reference work for Poland WWII then I would recommend Poland in the Second World War by Dr. Józef Garliński. It may be out of print but I believe a new expanded edition is being worked on by his son Jarek Garliński.

Dr. Garliński has written a number of authoritative works on Poland's contribution to the allied victory in WWII. The best in my opinion was Poland the SOE and the Allies which recounts in part the formation and military operations of the cichociemni (or the Unseen and Silent) special force paratroops of the Polish Underground Army.
rafalwk - | 1  
21 Jan 2009 /  #8
N. Davies "God's playground" or a little bit shorten version "Poland - the Heart of Europe" cheers
mylesg 7 | 14  
24 Nov 2009 /  #9
Merged: Post-1989 History book about Poland

Looking for an English language book that focuses on Poland AFTER 1989. Most general surveys only mention the period 1989- I am looking for a little more on things such as privatization, Walesa and future administrations, the 1995 crisis, EU membership, post-89 cultural changes- etc.

TheOther 6 | 3,664  
24 Nov 2009 /  #10

There is no Polish history after 1989. Actually, there isn't even a history after 1945. Everything happened before WW2 and then ... nothing ... ;)

This seems to be a good starter with lots of resources mentioned:
Norman 2 | 11  
21 Dec 2009 /  #11
Of course there are books of the more recent history,

Poland under communism describes the period of Solidarnosc and the economical changes after 89 in detail. Bought this book last year.

Poland under communism, a cold war history
A. Kemp Welch


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