I am a 4th-generation American of Polish ancestry. I mostly read non-fiction, my "to-read" pile was low, so I decided earlier this summer to learn something of Polish history. I never had much interest in Polish history, but since my ancestors came from Poland, I thought it might be interesting. I knew nothing about the history of Poland, except the very thin veneer of WW2 history and Solidarity in the recent times, etc. I searched online and discovered that Davies 2 volume Polish history is considered the best in the English language. (Four generations removed from Poland, the only word I can say in Polish is "butter." I needed a good English book.) I just finished Vol 1, and I am about to buy Vol 2. Vol 1 starts from Polish pre-history to 1800, when the Polish political state was partitioned and abolished. Volume 1 is great! The writing is very good. Davies is a scholarly Oxford don type of writer. Beautiful language. It can be dense. I had to look up a few words. There were sections of the book I read very lightly -- some political details that are not of interest to a non-scholar casual reader. But there are some very interesting sections too that read very well. I loved some of Davies' extensive quotes from original sources. Some were quite funny and lewd. I will never forget the quote from Rousseau about the final partition of Poland. For an educated American of Polish descent, this book was a fun, if sometimes, dense read, full of information that I am now glad I know. Volume 1 is about 500 pages long, minus footnotes, and it took me 1 month to read it. My only complaint: I wish the book had better maps in it.