In 1953, after years of despair under the hegemony of Stalin, Poland began to recover. The death of Stalin and Krushchev's subsequent speech to the twentieth congress initiated a gradual release of tension from the toll of intellectual, religious, economic and political harness. But the process was uneven...at first the unreality of the blows at the cult of the individual engendered fear and suspicion among the people who had been lied to, tricked and subjugated for so many years. Soon the impact of the speech mushroomed at a speed too rapid for the Communists to handle. Public discussion groups were formed; a wide-spread student newspaper was vitalized; policies, Party and people were questioned...and Wladyslaw Gomulka was returned to power. The author has successfully conveyed the political chronology without minimizing the inherent drama. She has preferred to use people as source material rather than statistics and documents and has written a case history and not a history. Very readable.