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The Polish Way: A Thousand Year History of the Poles and Their Culture Paperback – 1 Oct 1993
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Edition John Murray, 1993. ISBN: 0-7195-4674-5. PAPER BACK. 432 pages, size: 15.5 x 23.4 x 2.9 cm. Just light tan to paper edges. Other than that the book remains in very condition throughout. Text all clean, neat and tight. Prompt dispatch from UK.
Top customer reviews
Ever facinated am I by the histories and culture of our many Eastern European neighbours, and having made many Polish friends during my time in London I felt the desire to learn a little.
There are two reasons not to read about history. Either the history is dull, or the history is not dull and the writer doesn't do it justice.
Here, one thousand years of staggeringly mercurial history is here laid down with poise and intelligence, seeking largely to tell, and explain only when previous historians have confused the facts. Poland, and the western reader owe, I believe, a great deal to this unbiased and yet committed writer who seeks to hoist a flag to proud and civic moments in this tragic nations history while telling of it's failures and achievements with equal dignity.
The book itself is most appealingly presented with well spaced pages filled with art and photography, linked nicely with the subject matter. The prose itself is ever gripping, never tiresomely detailed, and the structure fluid and natural.
I enjoyed this immensely, indeed I did not put it down. Many lunch hours were extended overlong, and a few bus stops missed.
The second reason for owning this history is that is written with a clarity and above all a wit and humour that is irresistable. A model of good style, it can be appreciated by all. No mere catalogue of name succeeding name, the author has the gift of making his subjects memorable in telling and often humourous sketches. Highly recommended. It will most likely turn your knowledge of European history on its head.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The only reason this received 4 stars instead of 5 stars, is that there are times when the opinion of the author comes through too clearly. There are a few occasions throughout the book where he refers to certain acts as "bigotry." Bigotry they might be, but in a history book, I would prefer the author to simply tell me what happened and why, and leave me to determine if the motivations amounted to bigotry.
However, that aside, the book is an outstanding source, and the author's opinion leaks through only in a few specific circumstances. If you can handle an opinion being given to you on occasion, then I think this will serve as an excellent primer for anyone wanting to start from scratch, and learn the history of Poland.
I loved the way that Zamoyski sheds light on how intertwined Poland's history was and is with European history, the dynamics that contributed to her fall and how that fall affected the rest of Europe. He does a great job or telling the history of Europe and Poland in one volume.
I recommend this book to everyone I know who has a misaligned or poorly informed understanding of the Polish people, who bought the lie that was spread about these amazing people to justify the carving up of their country and the cultural genocide in the 19th century. Most find it too dense and it is, but I find that all truly good history texts are dense and I urge those I know to stick with it, even if you read a chapter a month it is well worth the time.
Now, the man is a real patriot and you will have a hard time trying to find something wrong to pin on the Poles all through their eleven century history.
There is so much in this book that I did not know about !!!
Plus, it is a very enjoyable read. More fun than a novel. The writer beautifully illustrates the events that take place in Poland's history.
Also, the maps of the changing Polish borders are excellent !!
For an outline of what this book has to offer, check out this blog...
The History of Poland that you never knew...
(it is based on The Polish Way by Adam Zamoyski)
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