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Decent Biography, but skimpy on details11 Mar. 2001
R. A Forczyk
- Published on Amazon.com
This is probably the only decent biography of the Polish nationalist leader, Joseph Pilsudski, written in English. There is only one map, covering the Battle of Warsaw. Although there is considerable discussion of the Russo-Polish War, the actual military detail is skimpy. A crucial mistake was failure to delve in more depth into Pilsudski's role in developing the Polish military structure and doctrine during 1922-1935. As a person, he comes across as a strong, energetic personality in his youth, but as a frail, argumentative sort after age 55. Pilsudski was an adulterer and he converted to Protestantism then returned to Catholicism. His early socialist party activities seem to be a non-sequitor; he was a Polish nationalist who believed in independence, but not Marxism. His political allies were leftist, but his methods and style were militant fascism. Pilsudski's finest hours were in 1920 in saving Poland from the Bolsheviks and in 1926 in saving Poland from civil war. However Pilsudski was unable to provide Poland with the long-term means or strategy to resist either Germany or Russia.