POLAND by Marian Brandys


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This moving, patriotic tribute by a native Polish journalist concentrates on three aspects of the nation's past: the people's heroic, tragically costly resistance to foreign invaders, in particular the Nazis; the strain of native republicanism which has surfaced sporadically over the centuries, and the country's rebuilding under socialism. Brandys' views, especially his glowing account of postwar industrial development, are not always objective, but no outsider could make episodes from Polish history so stirring and relevant. Brandys not only involves us in the saga of the Warsaw ghetto (remembering the martyrs, the violence which made mere survival a miracle, even the fatalistic jokes of those days) and the waves of emigration which scarred the Polish sense of national identity, but he brings to life such symbolic figures as the medieval king, Boleslas Wrymouth, who devoted his life to unifying Polish territory only to divide the kingdom among four sons at his death. This is not the usual ""balanced"" blend of geography and history which is geared to school requirements, but Brandys' Poland is infused with a sense of place and atmosphere that most such profiles lack.

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 1974
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Doubleday