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The Beating Heart Of Europe
on 13 July 2007
If you have neither the time to read nor wish to go the expense of purchasing Norman Davies' two volume epic of Polish history `God's Playground' but wish to better understand Poland and it's people then this book is a `must buy'.
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.