- Hardcover: 536 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (Aug. 1984)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0198730608
- ISBN-13: 978-0198730606
- Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15 x 4.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,138,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Heart of Europe: A Short History of Poland Hardcover – 1 Aug 1984
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another masterpiece. Heart of Europe has sweep, a rare analytical depth and a courageous display of the author's personal convictions. The book begins and ends with Solidarity; the unique labour movement thus serves as a frame for the nation's history. (New York Times Book Review) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Norman Davies is chairman of the history department, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, at the University of London. He has been a visiting professor at Columbia and McGill Universities. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author has since written many books that have the Polish people at their heart - `Rising '44' and arguably `Europe At War' and `Europe: East & West' and his love of the Polish is as evident as his anger at their treatment during the greater part of the last 200 years.
On reading this book it is clear to see why.
Davies has an immense understanding of Polish politics, literature and culture and his arguments are convincing and fully reinforced by evidence and presented in a fluent and engaging fashion.
Don't be put off by the Polish language because there is a section in the preface that comprehensively explains pronunciation, and all the names are easy to remember so one won't get `lost' trying to remember who was who.
Europe is getting smaller, and for the last 50 years or so Poland has largely been a `black hole' to those of us outside, but it truly is the `Heart of Europe' and knowing and understanding it's history - as this book is an excellent aid - is essential for a wider comprehension of Europe's development over the last eight hundred years and more specifically the last three centuries.
The result is a triumph - a brief but highly enjoyable history, enlivened by Davies's dry wit and a treasury of pertinent anecdotes. Poland's magnificent and tragic history is portrayed here in its full range and scope, neither glorifying the Poles as eternal martyrs for freedom, nor slandering them as backward xenophobes.
Given the widespread public ignorance of Polish history, and the sensitivity of Poles to external comment on it, the greatest accolade for Davies must surely be that the Polish translation of God's Playground has been selected as the official history textbook for use in Polish schools.
This new edition of Heart of Europe includes new material on the changes in Poland since 1989.
Poland: A history
It takes someone who understands Poland and the Polish people to be able to write about the country's turbulent history. East European can be more complex and difficult to grasp than presented in many of the standard history books.
Polish history has been particularly difficult especially recently because of the communist suppression of freedom in Poland, additionally the west appears to rather forget the inconvenience of a betrayed ally.
Norman Davis steps into the debate and sets out the record as it is.
Rising '44: The Battle for Warsaw
The book deals with all aspects of Poland's history, culture, literature, diplomacy as well as the elephant in the room the War and Soviet takeover.
The book published in 2001 takes the history to the turn of the century and looks towards the future with hope for Poland.
Excellent book if you want to learn some of the various aspects of Poland.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't find Davies style very engaging but the book was in excellent condition.Published 13 months ago by Dr Penelope Szomanska Collet
Why is this book written backwards? It is illogical and makes for an extremely difficult read. Whilst the author claims this structure clarifies Polish history, it in fact clouds... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Christine Friend
Recommended to me many moons ago, still reading it, well written history of our modern time xPublished 21 months ago by Monica
I have only had time to start this book but already I am engrossed. Davies has a writing style that draws you in and informs you at the same time. Read morePublished on 17 Sept. 2014 by Doug
I have a high regard for Norman Davies as a historian, but I didn't really like the literary translations of some pieces of Polish lyrics in this book.Published on 3 Aug. 2014 by Adam
Great Title…..but way too tedious. I really did want a short history of Poland…..this is a doorstop written like a textbook. Read morePublished on 14 April 2014 by kevincastner