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by Timothy Garton Ash

Download The Polish Revolution eBook
Timothy Garton Ash
Vintage; First Vintage Books Edition edition (April 12, 1985)
402 pages
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He is Professor of European Studies at Oxford University.

He is Professor of European Studies at Oxford University. Much of his work has been concerned with the late modern and contemporary history of Central and Eastern Europe. He has written about the former Communist regimes of that region, their experience with the secret police, the Revolutions of 1989 and the transformation of the former Eastern Bloc states into member states of the European Union

The Polish Revolution: S. .has been added to your Cart.

The Polish Revolution: S. He describes the emergence of the improbable leader Lech Walesa, the ensuing tumult that culminated in martial law, and - for this updated version - the fate of the Solidarity movement in subsequent years.

Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award ‘The Polish Revolution .

Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award ‘The Polish Revolution: Solidarity‘ counts as the seminal work covering the Solidarity era, and ranks as one of the most important books written on post-war European history. First penned in 1983, the book has been re-published three times, most recently in 2002

A growing number of countries have so-called memory laws, ranging from the criminalisation of Holocaust denial, to prescriptions for the teaching of certain subjects, memorial days and public monuments. The lecturer, who has just completed a book on free speech, will argue that phenomena such as Holocaust denial are better contested by the completely free, robust exchange of scholarly, journalistic and political debate, and that the state should not use its coercive power to limit the study of history.

Timothy Garton Ash was there in Warsaw, on 4 June, when the communist government was humiliated by Solidarity in the first semi-free elections since the Second World War. He was there in Budapest, twelve days later, when Imre Nagy - thirty-one years after his execution - was finally. He was there in Budapest, twelve days later, when Imre Nagy - thirty-one years after his execution - was finally given his proper funeral. He was there in Berlin, as the Wall opened. And most remarkable of all, he was there in Prague, in the back rooms of the Magic Lantern theatre, with Václav Havel and the members of Civic Forum, as they made their 'Velvet Revolution'

The Polish Revolution book.

The Polish Revolution book.

This ed. originally published in Great Britain by Penguin Books in 1999. Includes bibliographical references (pages 413-421) and index. Introduction: What Poland? Why workers? Why 1980? -. - Revolution: Inside the Lenin shipyard: Workers, August 1980 ; A new social contract? ; Inside the Rzeszow commune: The peasants revolt ; The ides of March ; Democratic communism? ; What partnership? ; Noble democracy ; Confrontation ; 'War' - Reflections: What revolution? ; Under western eyes.

Timothy Garton Ash (Official). Political writer and 'historian of the present

Timothy Garton Ash (Official). Political writer and 'historian of the present  . See actions taken by the people who manage and post content. Page created – 9 December 2010.

Studies the history of Solidarity from the 1980 worker's revolution, profiles key figures, including Lech Walesa, and concludes with an analysis of Western response
  • ZEr0
This is a good book for those interested in what happened in Poland during the 1980s. I found this book to be thought-provoking at times and the author, Professor Ash tries to maintain an objective outlook. However, there are parts where the book becomes boring (I will not mention where since I do not want to ruin any portion of this book for you). Ash is a great British writer, but he too at times brings his own British-outlook and this creates prejudice and bias. This, however, doesn't take from the book the fact that it is a great window into the Solidarity movement that erupted in Poland as a result of the authoritarian government.
  • IGOT
This is a thorough and lucid explanation of the events of the late 70s and early 80s in Poland. It is engrossing and mesmerizing. This is History as it is supposed to be written. It reads like a Ph.D. dissertation. I would recommend it to anyone with a taste for history. Excellent.
  • Jare
I had read "The Eagle Unbowed" and "Iron Curtain" and wanted to make learn how the communist government fell apart in Poland. Ash was on the ground when the Solidarity movement started and should have been an impartial witness; his first edition of this book was printed soon after the protests began and he updated at least twice. Throughout, Ash has a great deal of animosity to Lech Walesa, who, in spite of limited education, was able to lead the Solidarity movement and ultimately, played a major role in the fall of the iron curtain.

The animosity, displayed almost every time Walesa is mentioned, takes away from the author's credibility. In the latest edition of the book has wordy chapters of no importance. Who cares what a bunch of 'leftist' New Yorkers said? They never did anything to help the Poles. Yet, the talking heads are Ash's kind of people.

Surely, Lech Walesa exhibited leadership in very trying, indeed dangerous situations. An explanation of his appeal who have contributed greatly to my understanding of the fall of communism in Poland.
  • Ariurin
Garton Ash's account of the 1980-81 Polish Revolution is both a history of the events, as well as that of someone who was there during them. As such he is unable to give a proper retrospective on their legacy, instead speculating on what the events would mean for the future of Poland. This version is an updated one that contains a brief summary of the events from 1989 and examines his own interpretations from 1983 (when the original was published). Overall it does a good job of showing the impact Solidarity had on Poland as a whole, and brings to life the many key figures both on the side of Solidarity and that of the government, and not just focusing on Walesa and Jaruzelski. As Garton Ash was able to interview many of the main leaders of Solidarity while working as a journalist in Gdansk, he thus provides a unique insight into their actions, one that a traditional work of history is not able to do. He also writes very clearly and smoothly, making for an easy read, though the many Polish names do make it difficult to keep up with at times.
  • Dianalmeena
This book, as far as I can tell, remains to this day one of the best written and most comprehensive reports on what was happening during the 18 or so months from the creation of Solidarity movement in Poland in August 1980 to the imposition of martial law on December 13, 1981. And the library of books on this subject, as far as English language is concerned, isn't big anyway.

First reason - the author was right where the action was, literally. And, unlike many other foreign correspondents, he did not limit himself to shallow, superficial observations calculated for fast print; he went further. He managed to get in touch with many Solidarity activists, on various levels, and through participation (as an observer) in meetings as well as conversations and interviews succeeded in getting more in depth description of what exactly was happening and explanation why and for what purpose.

Reporting of events, as important as it is in itself, was not the only feature of this book. Timothy Garton Ash also offers quite in depth, even if at times controversial, analysis of events and critical portraits of some key players in the political events - on both sides of the political 'barricade'. The characteristic of Wojciech Jaruzelski, the head of Polish government at the time (both Prime Minister and First Secretary of "PZPR" the Communist Party), particularly stands out as original and convincing.

I myself was actively involved in the Solidarity movement at that time and I can testify to the general accuracy of the statements contained in this book. No particular story, account of an event or critical analysis strikes me as improbable or outright false. Last but not least what also helps the book considerably is its lively, captivating narrative. It is, simply, a good read.

If the aim of the author was to bring Poland, its contemporary history and predicament closer to an English speaking reader, he graciously succeeded. I deem this book an essential reading for anyone who wants to get closer understanding of contemporary Poland and also some understanding of how it was like to live under the Communist rule in those years. Very highly recommended.
  • avanger
Timothy Ash was sent to Poland in August 1980 to cover a strike by workers in a Gdansk shipyard. He ended up covering a 16 month struggle for national independence which ended when the Polish Army declared a State of War and crushed the Solidarity movement in December 1981. His account is compelling, human and covers not only events in Warsaw, but other Solidarity centres and strikes around Poland. This book is a wonderfully rich introduction to contemporary Poland and the events and attitudes that have shaped Polish thinking since the war. If you are interested in reading about the Polish struggle for independence this is the book for you.