Books and Periodicals Received

The Price of Freedom: A History of East Central Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present, by Piotr S. Wandycz. London and New York. Routledge [Routledge, Chapman and Hall, Inc., 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001]. 1992. xv + 330 pages. Maps, Tables, Index. Hardcover. $29.95.

This much-awaited book fulfills all expectations. Written in a lucid and masterful style, it covers the history of Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, as well as, whenever relevant, the history of Croatia, Transylvania and the Baltic states. This is the first book we know about to cogently present the intertwining histories of all these states, and to present them as actors on the European scene rather than mere afterthoughts. The quintessential east central European classic. We warmly recommend that you buy it.

Out of the Inferno: Poles Remember the Holocaust. Edited by Richard C. Lukas. Lexington, KY. University of Kentucky Press. 1992. $23.00.

While there exists substantial documentary literature in English about the Holocaust, before Professor Lukas' multi-authored volume appeared there were no collections of firsthand narratives by Polish Christians who were also victims of "ethnic cleansing" undertaken by Nazi Germany. This book is one more addition to Professor LukasŐ numerous works on World War II.

Princes, Peasants, and Other Polish Selves: Ethnicity in American Literature, by Thomas S. Gladsky. Amherst. The University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst 01004). 1992. ix + 313 pages. Index. Hardcover.

An articulate book detailing the Polish image in American letters and culture. Briefly, that image was noble, aristocratic, and melancholy in nineteenth-century American letters, as Poles fought for national independence and sided up with the revolutionary forces in Europe. When they regained independence in 1918, their attachment to the traditional and Catholic ways took over, and they incurred the wrath of the trend-setting forces in America. The extermination of Jews in Poland under the Nazi German occupation (Poles have even been accused of complicity in it) seared the negative image of Poles in America's media and literature. Gladsky tries to look at events through the lens of a sophisticated academic who observes the surge of "ethnic concerns" in the English and history departments at universities, and wonders why it has by-passed the Poles. His conclusion is that "the sociopolitical interests" of said departments are not favorable to Polish culture; with a somewhat fatalistic passivity, he does not propose to devise ways in which these interests could be contested. In spite of a considerable tradition of pluralism inherited from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonweath (14th-18th centuries), Polish culture is essentially Catholic and traditionalist. The memories of Polish ancestry are exceptionally sturdy and also exceptionally prone to being attacked. In addition, as Catholics acculturated to certain patterns of behavior, Polish Americans have difficulty articulating their own positions and defending themselves against their ideological enemies. Gladsky tries to perform an acrobatic feat of proposing to accept "the Polish self" while maintaining a politically correct posture in American intellectual life. Alas, that is impossible, in our view. The only way is to invent oneŐs own posture. But we wish him best.

A longer review to follow.

Katyn: A Whisper in the Trees, by Anthony A.J. Jakubowski. Santa Maria, CA. Kuma Publishing (110 South Pine, Suite 103-431, Santa Maria, CA 93454). 1991. 298 pages. One illustration. Paperback. $9.95.

A fictionalized account of the most famous of the three grisly murder sites where the Soviets secretly executed 4,500 Polish officers interned during the 1939 Soviet campaign in Poland. The author's father was an officer in the Polish army under the Second Republic. The author is a TV writer, novelist and one-time arson investigator. He lives in California with his wife and son.

Poland's Jewish Heritage, by Joram Kagan. New York. Hippocrene Books. 1992. 208 pages. Map and illustrations. Paper. $16.95.

A handy guide to Poland's Jewish sights by a Polish Jew deported to Archangelsk by the Soviets in 1940. He now specializes in escorted tours to Israel and Eastern Europe for a New York travel agency. The book contains a nutshell history of Polish Jewry, a chronology of Jewish presence in Poland, lists of synagogues and Jewish organizations, a glossary and pronunciation guide, and numerous other tidbits. It is marred by an absence of editing, as a result of which the names and place names are misspelled and people are declared to be "Jews" not only on the basis of cultural or religious identity, but also on the basis of remote ancestry.

Human Rights and Social Policy in the Twenty-First Century, by Joseph Wronka. Lanham, Md. University Press of America. 1992. 274 pages. Hardcover $48.50, paper $22.50.

An attempt to analyze the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United States Constitution, and identify the implications of these principles for social policy in the twenty-first century. The author is an Assistant Professor of Social Policy at Franklin Pierce College.

And I Am Afraid of My Dreams, by Wanda Poltawska. Introduced and translated by Mary Craig. New York. Hippocrene Books (171 Madison Ave, New York, N.Y. 10016). 1989. 191 pages. Map. Hardcover, $14.95.

In February 1941 in Nazi-occupied Poland, Wanda Poltawska, age 19, was arrested by the Gestapo and charged with aiding the resistance movement. She was sent to the RavensbrŸck concentration camp (twenty miles north of Berlin) where she suffered until 1945. While in the camp, she and other Catholic women were subjected to "medical experiments" performed by Nazi doctors. Wanda survived, and became a physician after the war.

Przeglad Podatkowy. [Tax Review] No. 6 (14). June 1992. (Editorial address: 20a Bracka Street, 00-028 Warsaw, Poland). 32 pages. 25,000zl (ca. $1.80).

A monthly business publication in Polish devoted to Polish and foreign taxation, Polish import and export laws, and Polish stock exchange. A most useful magazine to subscribe to for those doing, or contemplating doing, any business with Poland, or for those wishing to advertise in Poland. A SR subscriber in Houston is a Przeglad Podatkowy representative for North and South America. You can subscribe by faxing a request or writing to: Mrs. Teresa Priebe, 4239 Emory Avenue, Houston, Texas 77005. Fax: 713-665-4802.

The Polish Shout: Circus, Film, Opera and Theatre Posters: 1960s-1980s. Catalog of an Exhibition mounted at the UWM. Edited by Stanley Mallach, Susan Mikos, and Michael Mikos. Milwaukee, WI. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Art History Gallery, September 13-November 1, 1992.

This catalog contains eight reproductions of Polish posters by Franciszek Starowieyski, Jan Mlodozeniec, Hubert Hilscher, Jerzy Czerniawski, Rafal Olbinski, and others. The accompanying essay argues that Polish poster art was second to none in the 1960s and 1970s, and that the creative impetus continues to be strong.

Albanian Catholic Bulletin [Buletini Katolik Shqiptar]. Edited by Gjon Sinishta. Vol. XIII (1992). ISSN 0272-7250. Published annually by the Albanian Catholic Institute, University of San Francisco, Xavier Hall, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080. 176 pages. Softcover.

Contains several dozen articles on topics related to Catholic and Muslim Albania, ecumenism and eastern Europe. Some of the articles are of remarkably high quality. This collection demonstrates that attempts at homogenizing eastern Europe are unlikely to succeed.

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