“On Poland and Poles” by J. Krawczyk – book review

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On Poland and Poles Krawczyk“On Poland and Poles” is a historical book, or a “historical tale” – according to the author – Jarosław Krawczyk. As he says, he likes telling stories and the most interesting of all are true or probable tales. Especially the ones concerning Poland and Poles’ past, that are partly presented as the so-called alternative history.

Jarosław Krawczyk is a well-known columnist at the “Mówią Wieki” historical magazine. His book’s aim is to shape the historical consciousness of the readers. The book is written in an interesting way, sometimes colourfully and cheerfully, and sometimes in a solemn tone. Nevertheless, the reader has a possibility to get to know more about Poland in a very attractive way.

The story begins in the tenth century, presenting Polish tribes and legends, e.g. the one about the mythical duke Krak. And it ends in 1991, just after the success of the “Solidarity” movement and the first democratic presidential election in 1990. Despite that, Krawczyk shortly mentions some important events after 1991, e.g. Polish participation in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 1994, the first Woodstock Festival Poland (Przystanek Woodstock) in 1995, Nobel Prize Award for Wisława Szymborska, joining NATO in 1999, the Oscar Award for Andrzej Wajda in 2000, Golden Palm Award for Roman Polanski in 2002, EU membership in 2004, signing of Schengen Agreement in 2007 or EURO 2012.

The whole tale is accompanied by a chronology of events from the Polish history. In the book we can find many paintings, maps, photographs and scanned documents. This book is a must-have for every person interested in the history of Poland and Polish nation. One may buy it in chosen bookstores or via http://ksiegarnia.bellona.pl/ (Bellona Publishing House, 376 pages).

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