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Recommended Poland's history books


marion kanawha 3 | 95
12 Feb 2024 #151
1610 THE BATTLE OF KLUSHINO, Anthony Holland, 2023.

SURPRISINGLY I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK AT ALL.

It is poorly written, extremely, extremely repetitive, not researched well and has poor sources and references, if you call his tertiary references sources at all.

Holland give historical background to the battle but it needs to be better organized and narrated more clearly. Remember that this is the convoluted period of Russian history, 1600-1620.

He does a decent analysis of leadership styles, army compositions, artillery, logistics, infrastructure, morale, mercenaries, etc. But they're all generalizations. He repeats himself way too often in this respect. In listing pros and cons he mentions the Polish liberum veto. It was never used at this time and didn't have any affect during this time.

For the actual battle I referred to Wikipedia and it seemed that that his narrative was copied directly from there. He refers to a primary source name but I had to Google it because it was not listed in the source section of the book. He mentions a contemporary Polish historian named Nagielski. I had to Google him (Miroslaw Nagielski) but I could not read his comments about the battle. They were not available on line. Again, Nagielski is not listed as a source.

Holland places a lot of emphasis on the Swedish and their contribution to the Russian army. It seems he's writing a preface to the rise of Swedish power in the north.

Finally he does a "comparative analysis" of Klushino with other battles of the time like Brietenfeld (1631) and Lepanto (1571) --- a naval battle???? Why? More effort should be given to events post battle (in my opinion) and in searching for more primary sources about the battle. How did the Polish cavalry get right into the Russian cavalry and destroy them? No details.

I'd pass on this history book.



marion kanawha 3 | 95
14 Feb 2024 #152
POLAND'S EASTERN BORDER, Michael Sliva, 2023. Written by a Canadian who is not an historian. Notice how his last name has been anglicized.

I had been making my way through Timothy Snyder's THE RECONSTRUCTION OF NATIONS (see above). It is a very scholarly "deep-dive" into the eastern lands of Poland throughout history. I then found Sliva's book which a.) was more readable and b.) was more up to date (2023 versus 2003).

At it's core it's a history of the KRESY --- the "borderlands". The eastern border was less a political line but more a fluctuating area of Polish influence. Part of my family came from the "eastern lands".

Sliva covers the "borderlands" of the East (naturally) the most. Places like Galicia, L'viv, Wilno, Volhynia, etc. He also covers the "hinterland". That's the areas furthest east especially during the Commonwealth. Places like Kyiv and Minsk.

There are interesting chapters dealing with Ruthenians (who they are), Lithuanians, Jews, Catholicism, Polonization (what is it), etc., etc. Importantly is the development of the concept of "nationalism".

Sliva also has lots of maps and charts. This always helps when presenting such complicated topics as the fluid Polish eastern lands. Maps and charts cover census data going as far back as 1790. Ethnicity and religious data from the 1921 & 1931 census are heavily analyzed, showing how borders finally, through lots of blood and tears, got shaped as they are today.

In the conclusion he very objectively states that the USSR/Russia is "...the far more impactful, oppressive, and modern occupier and occupies THE COLLECTIVE MEMORIES OF THESE PEOPLE (all folks of the eastern lands) TO A FAR GREATER DEGREE." (my caps)



GefreiterKania 35 | 1,352
16 Feb 2024 #153
@marion kanawha

Check this book out, Marion...

Dmowski - Anglia

... it's an interesting analysis of foreign politics of Great Britain. It shows how the Brits used Poland, Russia and Germany for their own interests and how they managed to pit various nations against each other for British profit. Great book by a man who died before WW2 and didn't see how the Brits skillfully manipulated Poland into becoming the target of Hitler's first Blitzkrieg. Very few books depict British backstabbing duplicity as well as this little gem by Roman Dmowski.

P.S. An example of what Dmowski wrote about can be observed even on this board, where we have a certain British member who accuses Poland of not being prepared for the war, when it was the British government that successfully pressured Poland to stop the general moblisation days before the invasion (which significantly decreased battle readiness of Polish forces).
pawian 223 | 24,583
17 Feb 2024 #154
the Brits skillfully manipulated Poland into becoming the target of Hitler's first Blitzkrieg.

Those trecherous Brits again! And those naive Polish simpletons who can be so easily manipulated! :):):)

on this board, where we have a certain British member who accuses Poland

Kania, are your silly historical musings a proper punishment for that British gentleman you disagree with? I highly doubt it...... Try to be more reasonable, drop those stupidities.

this little gem by Roman

:):):) Don`t be stupid. Dmowski didn`t write any gems. He was a politician, not historian. That is why his publications are political manifestos, not history books. In the same way you can insist that Mein Kampf was a gem, too.
Ironside 51 | 12,462
17 Feb 2024 #155
He was a politician, not a historian. That is why his publications are political manifestos, not history books.

How in two seconds or less prove that you are a moron, A. T Pawian
Thanks for your book baboon it is a gem. lol!
--------

Very few books depict British backstabbing duplicity as well as this little gem by Roman Dmowski.

I think it wasn't his intention but an example of how to do it! So, instruction was illustrated by an example he had on hand.
pawian 223 | 24,583
17 Feb 2024 #156
moron,

Yes, darling, you and Kania are morons if you suggest discussing political publications by nationalist politicians in Poland`s history thread.
Ironside 51 | 12,462
17 Feb 2024 #157
are morons if you suggest discussing po

prove it!
pawian 223 | 24,583
17 Feb 2024 #158
Darling, you have always liked Mein Kampf because of its antisemitic message. You support Dmowski coz he belongs to the same Jews hating circle as Hitler. He was a nationalist politician unable to think rationally outside his rabid nationalism. Any publications by him are heavily corrupted with his sick agenda.
Ironside 51 | 12,462
17 Feb 2024 #159
Any publications by him are heavily corrupted with his sick agenda.

Oh, so you have nothing but your incoherent ramblings about a book you never even read. lol! You proved without a doubt that you are a moron, Thank you!
pawian 223 | 24,583
17 Feb 2024 #160
about a book you never even read.

I leave reading such books by such authors to you and your nazio lot. Just like I left Mein Kampf. Ha!
marion kanawha 3 | 95
21 Feb 2024 #161
Finally finished Timothy Snyder's THE RECONSTRUCTION OF NATIONS. (see above).
It's a survey history of Poland, Belarus, Lithuania and Ukrainia from 1569 to 1999. It's a very scholarly work so you better know your Polish history to understand it. Towards the end of the book my concerns were about Belarus. I'm Polish but my people came from Belarus. For the Belarusians they never fully developed a "nationalism'. The history of wars and Stalin (1937-41 Kuropaty Massacres for example) totally "Russofied" Belarus as she entered the end of the 20th century. A sense of being "Belorusian" has been lacking.

Concerning Ukraine there were too many problems that never were rectified. That's why Ukraine could not get into the EU. That's why Ukraine could not get into NATO. Now she's paying for that. (the book was written in 2003).

It seems that Poland and Lithuania made the difficult transition to modern statehood.
pawian 223 | 24,583
22 Feb 2024 #162
For the Belarusians they never fully developed a "nationalism'.

Yes, they are good people who are sort of torn between two options - they don`t know yet what they really are - Russian or European.

That's why Ukraine could not get into the EU. NATO.

They wasted a great opportunuty of the open door in 1990s when Russia was a poor fallen state. Homo sovieticus Ukrainians who were suspicious of the West prevailed and their leaders didn`t press, either so in result Ukraine didn`t attempt to get closer to Europe.

Now she's paying for that.

They are paying for their naive belief that Russians are a civilised nation who gave up their imperial conquest as a means of developing the country. .
marion kanawha 3 | 95
24 Feb 2024 #163
They wasted a great opportunuty of the open door in 1990s when Russia was a poor fallen state. Homo sovieticus Ukrainians who were suspicious of the West prevailed.......

Your point is well taken. That's what Snyder says in his book. Now my taxes are being used to keep them afloat! I know that's a snide remark but from reading Snyder's book to the current situation it's a straight line.
marion kanawha 3 | 95
9 Mar 2024 #164
THE HISTORY OF POLAND, S.A. Dunham. No date.

This is an 1831 book that has been recently re-printed. The book was written during the 1830 Revolution and the author, in his Preface, is very sympathetic to the cause.

Samuel Astley Dunham (1796-1858) was a British historian whose volumes appeared, over time, in LARDER'S CABINET CYCLOPAEDIA. The CABINET CYCLOPAEDIA was like an encyclopedia of histories and biographies done by various authors. Dunham's history of Poland was his first contribution. Over the next decade and a half he would write fifteen volumes of histories of Spain & Portugal, Europe in the Middle Ages, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Germanic Empire. His works were said to be well researched and very thorough.

What makes Dunham's work different is that he delves a lot into the early history and even touches on the pre-historical. The pre-historical was myth plus oral traditions. Cracus, Princess Wenda, the "bad guy" Popiel II, etc., etc. I thought it was quite fascinating.

But overall the book deals with the earlier history of Poland more so than the Commonwealth period. He finishes the book with a chapter entitled "Poland Partially Restored' which covers Napoleon's Grand Duchy, the Congress Kingdom, the Republic of Cracow. That's where he ends it.

The only bad point of the book is the agonizingly TINY, TINY text making it difficult to read comfortably. Overall it's interesting to read a Polish history, from a long time ago, written by a foreign historian.
pawian 223 | 24,583
9 Mar 2024 #165
Overall it's interesting to read a Polish history, from a long time ago, written by a foreign historian.

How about the English of the 19th century in history books?? Doesn`t it sound a bit antiquated like in belles lettres of the time?
Ironside 51 | 12,462
10 Mar 2024 #166
I leave reading such books

So you not only admit to being ignorant but you are proud of it. Geez I guess you are younger than me but didn't know that you are that stupid.

So to sum it up, you don't know that book, you never read it and you 'know' everything there is to know about it.

Well, you don't! You are just an ignorant anti-intellectual barbarian.
--

Timothy Snyder's

Norman Davis these are Angpohones who know a thing or two about Polish history but their take is very peculiar, often narrow, and most of all biased by their political and ideological biases.

If you want to read a book about the Polish Kingdom's heydays I recommend a Scottish author. Robert Frost The Oxford History of Polish-Lithuania.

Queen Liberty: The Concept of Freedom in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by Anna GrzeĊ›kowiak-Krwawicz,
pawian 223 | 24,583
10 Mar 2024 #167
So you not only admit to being ignorant but you are proud of it

Yes, I am proud that I didn`t read your fave book, Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. I also didn`t read communist books by Lenin or Stalin. Darling, life is too short to read all books that exist. You have to read those which are valuable. For the rest it is enough to read reviews.

But you can bask in Mein kampf by Adolf Hitler every day if you like it so much. What is the best quote from it in your opinion??
Ironside 51 | 12,462
10 Mar 2024 #168
Yes, I am proud t

Well, I; 'm not surprised that you ditched the last chance to make yourself look somewhat normal. I guess you are a certified cretin with only one argument, you run in circles while shouting nazi Hitler nazi Hitler haha!

Remind your nurse you need another injection.
marion kanawha 3 | 95
11 Mar 2024 #169
@pawian

How about the English of the 19th century in history books?? Doesn`t it sound a bit antiquated like in belles lettres of the time?
@ pawian

It's very easy to read. Not difficult at all. It's just that the printing in the book I got is so tiny. That's tiring.

@Ironside

I recommend a Scottish author. Robert Frost The Oxford History of Polish-Lithuania.

If you check entries #81, #82 and #92 in this thread you'll see that I have read that book. Very detailed; very intense.
pawian 223 | 24,583
11 Mar 2024 #170
you ditched the last chance to make yourself look somewhat normal

Impossible! :):):) I consider myself and all people who didn`t read Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler as normal. While everybody who read is out of pure fascination like you is not normal. Isn`t that simply obvious???? Or obviously simple??? hahahaha

nazi Hitler nazi Hitler haha!

Yes, it is your life motto, we know. :(:(:(:(

your nurse

My wife has chased all nurses away. hahahaha
jon357 74 | 22,396
12 Mar 2024 #171
Not difficult at all. It's just that the printing in the book I got is so tiny. That's tiring

That's how I feel. Anything after about 1830 is fine however books have to be in digital format for me now sadly.
pawian 223 | 24,583
12 Mar 2024 #172
It's very easy to read. Not difficult at all

I see. It must be in the topic which is discussed - probably historical stuff doesn`t use too much colloqiaul speech and idioms like fiction does.

PS. Yes, I know I have made a mistake in colloqiaul but I always do, I can never remember it, and don`t have time to check each time I use it. So don`t correct me, please because it it useless. :):):)
marion kanawha 3 | 95
30 Mar 2024 #173
MARTYRED AND BLESSED TOGETHER, THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE ULMA FAMILY, Fr. Pawel Rytel-Andrianik & Manuela Tulli, 2023.

To say the least this book is intense! You'll definitely reflect upon it after you've read it. Fr. Rytel-Andrianik is a professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. He's also editor of the Polish section of Vatican Radio/News. Manuela Tulli is an Italian journalist covering Vatican and religious topics for the Ansa news agency. The author of books, she's also a blogger.

The book's narrative flows beautifully and it is well documented with copious footnotes and bibliography. Included in the bibliography are websites. Unfortunately for me a lot of it is in Polish.

One of the most interesting topics covered is that of the child in the womb who was killed. That child is considered a martyr and beatified. The book delves into that topic and also covers the children who were very young. They are also considered martyr and beatified by the church. The topic of "martyrdom" is also covered in clear terms. Biographies of the Ulma family and the Jewish victims are also covered.

The neighbors knew the Ulmas were harboring refugees. Even though the house was 200 or so meters from the main road (650+ feet) they saw lots of activity. Food usually gave one away. Large amounts of food were purchased. But it was not neighbors who betrayed the Ulmas. It was a local policeman who was entrusted with one of the Jewish person's property who got greedy.

Chapter4, "The Massacre" is like a deep-sleep, very quick, very disturbing nightmare. All the murders were quickly done within minutes. Silently, no talking, no comments, no shouts, no orders, just gunshots. Only the children were left to be dealt with. The murderers robbed everything from the house and hauled it away in carts. Pillows, mattresses, beds, cups, plates, soup dishes, pots, pans and even tanned leather pieces that Jozef Ulma had been working on. Then the crew got drunk celebrating with vodka. Unbelievable!

The betrayer got his just due. What disturbs me is the officer in charge. He's the one who ordered the children to be killed. He told the villagers he was doing them a favor because no one would have to worry about orphans. He died respectfully at his home. When they went looking for him in 1960, he was already dead. What a story!

I highly recommend reading this.



Alien 21 | 5,197
30 Mar 2024 #174
MARTYRED AND BLESSED TOGETHER,

A sad story, widely known in Poland.
marion kanawha 3 | 95
4 Apr 2024 #175
There are some history books that I'm looking for in English. So far no luck finding anything.
Firstly is any book the covers the 1863 Revolution. Even if it's a section of another history book. A long as it covers the events in detail better than Wikipedia and other Google searches. I believe this event affected my family and caused some of them to come to America, France and Argentina. I want to know more about the mundane facts such as the serfs, opportunities, property, finances, economic growth, etc.

Secondly I don't see much coverage anywhere about the period from the election of the Saxon Augustus to the Silent Sejm (1717).
Basically this is the period of the Great Northern War. I would be willing to get a GNW history but there doesn't seem to be any available. Could someone refer me to an accurate GNW history? One that will cover all facets, not just Russia and Sweden. I don't even know a reliable GNW history. I could search libraries if I had a title and author. The best I've done is Wikipedia concerning the civil war fought in Poland during the GNW. I need to know more of the details such as who were the major players in this drama.

Any help would be appreciated.
marion kanawha 3 | 95
6 May 2024 #176
For reference purposes.
I found a history book, in English, about the January Uprising (1863). It's a free download from Google Books because it's now copyright free to use.

THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT IN POLAND WITH A NARRATIVE OF THE POLISH INSURRECTION OF 1863, William Ansell Day, 1867.
Cannot find much about William Day. He produced very little output. His other work is THE PYTHOUSE PAPERS, 1879, about late 17th century English anti-Catholic hysteria, plots to assassinate Charles II, hanging Jesuits, etc., etc.

His Polish history seems to be very detailed. I have not read it yet.



marion kanawha 3 | 95
11 May 2024 #177
Another history book, in English, concerning the January Uprising of 1863.

REFORM AND INSURRECTION IN RUSSIAN POLAND, 1856-1865, by R.F. Leslie, 1963. I managed to obtain this book through the US inter-library loan system and am making my way through it.

Robert Frank Leslie (1918-1994) was a British professor and a specialist in Polish history. One of his other books is POLISH POLITICS AND THE REVOLUTION OF NOVEMBER, 1830, published 1956, 1969.

This is not a military history of the insurrection. The last chapter basically deals with that. The book is 251 pages long excluding the bibliography. 151 pages are devoted to the background and events that led up to January, 1863. Diplomatic maneuverings and Polish politics cover another sixty pages.


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