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BOOKS and Periodicals Received

January 2009

Volume XXIX, No. 1

Biuletyny Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej (Bulletins of the Institute of National Memory), nos. 7-12 (75 -83), 2007; nos. 1-9 (84-92), 2008. Warsaw: Institute of National Memory; current. In Polish.

This monthly periodical publishes documents and scholarly works on the Second World War and the Soviet occupation of Poland (1945-1989). It is a treasure trove of historical documentation; we shall return to it in the forthcoming reviews. Some issues have not yet been assigned to reviewers. We welcome queries about reviewing issues dealing with the following: the creation of KOR, Solidarność Walcząca, and SKS; the forbidden and promoted holidays in the People’s Republic of Poland; the nationalist movement; the Bolshevik fight against the Catholic Church; March ’68; Wolność i Niepodleglość formation; free labor unions; Józef Piłsudski.

Other Books Received:

Poland: An Illustrated History, by Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski. New York: Hippocrene Books (, 2008. Third printing. 282 pages. Index, photographs, maps. ISBN-13: 978-0-7818-1200-9. Hardcover. $19.95.
When it comes to short-and-handy English-language histories of Poland, this one beats many others. Pogonowski is an experienced writer who has generated both admiration and controversy. His profound knowledge of Polish history and his love of Polish identity make his books a joy to read. Readers respond by buying them: have you ever looked up his rankings? Do not look for postmodern interpretations and approaches in Pogonowski’s books, however.

Cage: Poetry, by Astrid Cabral. Translated from the Portugese by Alexis Levitin. Austin, Texas: Host Publications, 2008. 91 pages. ISBN 13:978-0-924047-44-2. Paper.
Poems about the deaths of animals and birds, mostly. They will wake up the insensitive, but they will do little for those who are already sensitive to these things.

Plundered and Rebuilt/Ograbione muzeum, by Roman Matuszewski and Jolanta Kozimor. Warsaw: Polish War Museum, 2007. 256 pages (folio) plus a CD. Numerous photographs. ISBN 978-83-11-10880-6. Softcover. In Polish and English.
A bilingual and well-intentioned volume outlining the plunder and destruction by Germans and Russians of the Polish War Museum during the Second World War and afterwards. About the only thing that the book really says is that German Nazis and Soviet Russians were plunderers and destroyers. A redeeming feature of this book is its impeccable English, courtesy of tranlator Ted Mirecki. The volume contains dozens of pictures of objects lost and never recovered; objects whose present location has not been determined; and objects that were lost due to bombings and fires during the war. There are also some photos of the items currently exhibited. The tome has been lavishly printed. One wonders, however, about its intended audience. It is not scholarly enough to attract researchers, and the audience that like pretty pictures of hussars and horses and (sic) the former museum employees have been extinct for some time now.

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