Books and Periodicals Received

The Beginning of the Constitutional Era: A Bicentennial Comparative Analysis of the First Modern Constitutions, by Rett R. Ludwikowski and William F. Fox, Jr. Washington, D.C. The Catholic University of America Press. 1993. viii + 331 pages. Appendices and Index. Hardcover. $49.95.

A scholarly study of the constitutional developments in the United States, France, and Poland. The Appendices consist of the texts of seven constitutions (American, French and Polish), as well as of the preparatory texts. A valuable opus in many ways. A review to follow.

It Takes One to Tango, by Ambassador Edward L. Rowny. Washington - New York - London. Brassey's Inc (8000 Westpark Drive, First Floor, McLean, VA 22101). 1992. xiii + 273 pages. Index. Hardcover. $22.00.

A very personal memoir of a major American statesman who showed extraordinary skills negotiating with the Soviets in the 1970s and '80s. Would that all our negotiators had been as perspicacious, skillful, and conscious of long-term interests of the United States. A delightful book, totally unpretentious yet full of facts and wisdom. Much recommended. A review to follow.

Lingua Tertii Imperii: notatnik filologa. By Victor Klemperer. Trans. into Polish by Magda Stroinska. Edited by Piotr Wrobel and Magda Stroinska. 2nd ed. Biblioteka Polska w Kanadzie Nr 18. Toronto. Polski Fundusz Wydawniczy w Kanadzie. 1992. 260 pages. Paper. No price given. In Polish.

A fine translation of a book on the language of Nazi propaganda and on propaganda in general. The author points out that Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf was the first book in which the future Nazi vocabulary was coined. This vocabulary was then used in Nazi publications and in the work of Nazi "scholars." The author's remarks on the influence on the Jews of the Nazi attempts to humiliate them (by making families live in cramped quarters and share the same bathroom and kitchen) are enlightening, and can be applied to the Soviet attempts to humiliate the Poles after World War II. The reaction of both Jews and Poles to these attempts seems to have been identitical - see the chapter "Gwiazda."

The book has the form of a diary.

The author's critical sense fails him however when he deals with the Soviets who in many ways were the mirror image of their erstwhile Nazi friends. In fact, an almost identical book could have been written about Soviet propaganda. Since the book deals with the fine points of language use, it is appropriate to point out that the word fascism is often incorrectly used as a synonym of Nazism by the translator. One of the unsung triumphs of Soviet propaganda has been to blur the difference between the two.

Making Markets: Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Post-Soviet States, edited by Shafiqul Islam and Michael Mandelbaum. New York. Council on Foreign Relations Press (58 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10021). 1993. ix + 248 pages. Paper. $14.95.

A collection of four essays by Richard Portes, Paul Marer, Robert Campbell, and Jeffrey Sachs on the various problems facing the post-communist states. The editors have supplied an Introduction and Conclusion. The Council on Foreign Relations is a liberal institution which actively follows foreign policy developments.

In our opinion, in this volume there is too much emphasis on Russia and not enough on the non-Russian states of the former Soviet Union. The east central European states: Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are discussed by Paul Marer. A review to follow.

Polin: A Journal of Polish-Jewish Studies. Edited by Anthony Polonsky and W.T. Bartoszewski. Sponsored by the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies and the American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies. Vol. 7.

The volume contains eleven articles on various aspects of Jewish life in pre-World War II Poland, four articles on Jewish life in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, and several Notes and Reviews. It is excellently edited and, just as the previous volumes, it suggests that in times past, Polish Jews considered Poland to be their homeland. The volume indicates that in treating Poland so, the Jews have largely ignored the Christian Poles who co-inhabited that homeland, just as the Christian Poles ignored the Jews. Thus two very different histories of Poland can be written, depending on the point of view taken. Both sides would do well to try not to ignore each other's sensibilities in dealing with the historical events and circumstances that influenced both of them.

Stalin's Nose: Travel Around the Bloc, by Rory MacLean. Boston. Little Brown. 1993. 233 pages. Hardcover. $19.95.

A delightful and cheerful book. Even those who do not like to read will enjoy it: try it for a gift or a class assignment. The best condensed history of eastern Europe we know about, and served up in a heady humorous sauce. Also, an elegant way to counteract plain ignorance and ill will toward east central Europe. The author and his communist aunt travel around eastern Europe in a Trabant until it sinks in a pothole on a Romanian road. How to persuade the border guards that the Trabant actually vanished? Pictures of the sinking car do not help. Find out how they did it.

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