LECH WALESA by Mary Craig


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In the ""People Who Have Helped the World"" series, a biography of the man described in its subtitle as ""The leader of Solidarity and campaigner for freedom and human rights in Poland."" An editor's note explains that a third of the book was authored by an anonymous Pole who ""disappeared""; Craig, who took over, is ""author of The Crystal Spirit, the most powerful book about Lech Walesa."" The result, though clearly partisan and laudatory, is a straightforward account that summarizes the Nobel Prize-winner's impoverished youth and pivotal role in organizing the unions that spearheaded the alliance among labor, students, and church, and follows him to August 1989, in his subsequent role of nonviolent peacemaker. As a reference, the book is carelessly assembled: the excellent quotes from Walesa himself are mostly unattributed to a source, and neither his autobiography nor Craig's lauded book is cited in the brief bibliography. A pronouncing guide would have been helpful; instead, a glossary lists mostly words found in any dictionary (e.g., logo). The one-page index lumps a dozen men under the catch-all ""leaders,"" making them impossible to find except by serendipity. Still, a compelling, timely story, illustrated with many well-captioned photos. Chronology.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1990
Page count: 68pp
Publisher: Gareth Stevens