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Poland: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – September 12, 1984

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Engrossing . . . a page-turner in the grand Michener tradition.”The Washington Post
 
“A Michener epic is far more than a bedtime reader, it’s an experience. Poland is a monumental effort, a magnificent guide to a better understanding of the country’s tribulations.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Stunning . . . an unmatched overview of Polish history . . . The families themselves come very much alive, and through them, Poland itself.”USA Today
 
“A titanic documentary novel.”The Wall Street Journal

From the Inside Flap

Like the heroic land that is its subject, James Michener's POLAND teems with vivid events and unforgettble characters. In the sweeping span of eight tumultuous centuries, three Polish families live out their destinies and the drama of a nation--in the grand tradition of a great James Michener saga.
"POLAND is a monumental effort, a magnificent guide to a better understanding of the country's tribulations."
CHICAGO TRIBUNE

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 616 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (September 12, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449205878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449205877
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 80 people found the following review helpful By dave_zeb@mindspring.com on March 18, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Just a few words to describe the sheer magesty of Michener's retelling of the tale of Poland. Unless you were specifically educated as to Poland's history, I guarantee you will awed by what this peice of land, and its people, have been through. I am of Polish ancestry, and though I knew I knew very little about what my roots were, I had no idea what the sheer depth of my ignorance was. Just the simple fact that at two different times during the past few hundred years, there wasn't even a Poland at all, will probably shock most people.
The way Mr. Michener is able to weave his tapestry of Poland over the course of thousands of years, keeping his reader glued to the pages, is a blessing to us all. I am so happy I was able to discover even an over-view of what my past family had been through. After understanding how the Polish political system worked for so long, I also think I begin to understand where all of those Polish jokes probably came from through the years :)
It is an often-times sad story, of a strong people set upon at all points of the compass, used by Nation's over and over again, yet still they survive today. The families that Michener allows us to follow throughout the novel will at times have you in awe, at other times have you in ire, but unfailingly, they will have your interest.
Throughout the many novels of Michener's I have read, I have yet to be unappreciative of the opportunity to visit with the many Lands and Peoples he brings to life in his books. I eagerly await the next novel I will pick up of his, as yet again, I know I will be transported back in time to visit other people and places, with the sheer brilliance of the undisputed master of the factual/fictional historical novel leading the way.
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74 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Blah on February 9, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book after I had just finsihed a university course on the history of Poland. I was shocked at how historically accurate this work was. Michener definetly did his homework on this one. Even better it is extremely well-written. Despite the fact that I knew the history and therefore the outcomes of many of the events he was describing the detail which he gives to his character's lives as you follow a family history through time is riveting. I could barely put it down. If you can only read one of his books I highly recommend Poland.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Tom on March 28, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Polish American philanthropist and founder of Mrs. Pauls' Kitchens, Edward J. Piszek, convinced his friend, James Michener, to write a novel about Poland at the time of Solidarity's dramatic face-off with the then-communist Polish government.

The improbable spine of the novel is the relationship between two Polish families spanning the entire one-thousand-year history of the country.

Somehow Michener was able to cram in most of Poland's notable historical events, so if you're only able to digest history in novel-form, then "Poland" is not a bad option. However, the big drawback to this book, for those who may be contemplating buying it, is that it was published in 1984. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.

For anyone interested in learning about Poland, I recommend you spend your time reading a well-researched and easy-to-read contemporary history such as Adam Zamoyski's "Poland."
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Duffin on August 4, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book because my wife is Polish and I wanted to share with my children their herritage. The book gave me insight into Europe and some of its longstanding conflicts. The Holocoust of World War II is just one of a string of holocousts. I was amazed at Sweden's behavior during its conquest and slaughter of Poland. It helped me to understand what happened in Kosovo. Michener's mix of history and fiction was at times confusing. His fictional characters seemed so real when compared to historical figures. I would recommend a continuous review of the list of who is real and who is not given at the front of the book. Overall it was a good book which gives a flavor of Poland and Europe
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By L. R. in So Cal on August 22, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am half Polish and I finally committed myself to reading an imposing Michener novel. Once I got past the first few chapters I couldn't put it down. I have always felt the tragedy that is and was Poland and Michener has told a magnificent story. My maternal grandparents fled Poland at the turn of the century. I could see their story and my history on these pages. I read it several years ago, but it is the best I've read to date and I feel compelled to give it my highest rating for the benefit of Amazon's readership. There is a flow and a rythm to Mr Michener's writing style that is hard to resist. He deserves his place in history as best-selling author. Larry (Possum) Ronnow
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J R Zullo on December 14, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think most of Michener's books are interesting reads. Basically, I like them because I usually don't know the country - or region - described, the people that inhabits it, and its history. Michener is a master of concise and informative description, portraying landscapes and historical facts in such a way that it's easy for the reader to see it in his or her mind. Although by the concept of his books his characters are not that well developed and tend to be kind of ephemerous, the stories and sub-plots are always compelling and even thrilling, if somewhat slow. "The source" is one of my all-time favorites, a book that I read once every few years.

In "Poland", Michener tells the history of one of the most conturbated and affected european countries. At times, Poland did not even exist. Dominated by neighbours Austria, Germany and Russia, the polish people couldn't always say they had a free nation, but they always fought to mantain their identity and their culture.. Michener shows that, and much more.

"Poland" was not my favorite Michener book, but a great read nonetheless.

Grade 8.0/10
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