Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Polish Way: A Thousand-Year History of the Poles and Their Culture Paperback – October 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0781802000 ISBN-10: 0781802008 Edition: Reprint

6 New from $77.88 26 Used from $6.26 1 Collectible from $113.39
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$77.88 $6.26
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
Best%20Books%20of%202014
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Year-End Kindle Daily Deals
Load your library with great books for $2.99 or less each, today only. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books; Reprint edition (October 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781802008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781802000
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Adam Zamoyski was born in New York and has spent much of his life in England, where he was educated at Oxford. His family originates from Poland, which his parents fled when it was invaded by Germany and Russia in 1939. A historian with a singular command of languages, he has authored over a dozen books, including Warsaw 1920: Lenin's Failed Conquest of Europe and the bestselling Moscow 1812: Napoleon's Fatal March. He is married to the painter Emma Sargeant and resides in England.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
24
4 star
9
3 star
2
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 35 customer reviews
All chapters made for great reading, however, chapter 21 was to our book club, the most touching.
Academic
I found it to be a fascinating and enlightening introduction to Polish history and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in this subject.
AcornMan
I always found these sections both interesting and well integrated into the sweep of historical events.
John E. Mennel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 126 people found the following review helpful By John E. Mennel on February 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
In the Polish Way, Zamoyski sets out to create a "reasonable synthesis" of Polish history from what he describes as the body of patronizing foreign works and defensively nationalistic Polish ones. He succeeds reasonably well in this goal. If he does lean at times toward nationalism in describing the "Polish Way" - religious tolerance, reliance on legal protections, respect for human rights - it can be excused because of his strictly factual approach and because of the important role the Zamoyski family played in much of the history he describes.
For me, though, there are two factors that make this such an excellent introductory history - one of the best one volume national histories I have read. First, the book skillfully weaves the history of ideas (primarily painting, music, architecture, literature and law) into the political and military narrative. I always found these sections both interesting and well integrated into the sweep of historical events. Second, the numerous maps, genealogies, photographs and other exhibits - including a Polish pronunciation guide - are invaluable to a reader, like me, with little or no prior knowledge of Polish history. I wish more authors and editors of so-called "popular histories" would pay as much attention to these important finishing touches.
True to his goal of producing a synthesis, Zamoyski describes the important themes in Polish history but stops short of providing analysis or conclusions. In describing changes in Poland's political system, he begs analysis of the eventual weakness of early Polish democracy in the absence of a "nation" based on ethnicity, religion, language or a common conception of a territorial homeland and of the strength of today's Poland partially, according to the author, because of its relative homogeneity.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
84 of 85 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is one of the better history books I have read. The author clearly explains the history of Poland without too much clutter. The book is easy to read and flows well. This is an excellent book for those wishing to begin to study the history of Poland. The maps and photos inside the book shows the dynamic borders of Poland through the centuries and the author demostrates that Poland like the rest of Europe wasn't an island nation but part of a bigger Europe.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Blah on January 23, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best basic overview of Polish history for beginners that is available right now. If you are a more advanced student of Poland, you should check out the works by Norman Davies. Otherwise, for all you novices this is the place to start. The Polish Way covers all major aspects of the chosen subject and presents them in a clear intelligible fashion. Most importantly the writing is not incredibly boring so you can actually stand to read it straight through.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
If, even after the display of courage of the Solidarity labor movement during the 1980s and the world leadership of Pope John Paul II, some people still cling to the tired stereotype of the dumb, ignorant Pole, they should be made to read "The Polish Way". Adam Zamoyski makes the point very clear of what an impressive and complex nation the Poles have forged despite animosity from neighboring countries (for example, Prussia/Germany, Austria, and Russia/U.S.S.R.) and the indifference from the Western democracies to their plight. And what a wonderful culture Poland has created; rich in art, architecture, literature, music, and mature political thinking. Being Polish from my father's side, I now feel a special pride towards my ancestors' accomplishments after reading this book which I highly recommend.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By B.T. Cesul on November 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Zamoyski's book provides an excellent in-depth overview of the philosophies and leaders who shaped the Polish state from its founding in the dark ages through the end of Soviet Rule in the early 90's. Truly remarkable is the detail given on intracate aspects of Polish history, from kings and generals, to writers, poets, and musicians. After reading this, you can gain a true understanding of the basis of Polish thought and easily see why Poland became one of the first, if not THE first, country to break away from the Soviet influence. Also a good lesson for those who want to know the basis of of the strongbond between Catholicism and Polish culture. I only wish there had been more discussion of the lower levels of Polish culture, but hard to fit any more info in this tome. Probably the most endearing aspect of the book is for those of Polish heritage who want to learn about their history and not get caught in the stereotypes of "the dumb Pole". Highly reccomended for those intrigued by Central European history, development of American democracy (read and you'll see why), and those of Polish descent. A must for the bookshelves of any Polish-American. (...)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By SubseaTree on December 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although it is a number of years since I have read this book, I remember the author tells the history of this once great nation with so much enthusiasm that reading it you will rarely feel as if you are being lectured to and it will always be enjoyable. I'll probably read it again. Most US readers will probably be surprised by what a powerhouse of forward thinking Poland was, and in many ways, how it's systems were prototypes for those which created the USA. This is certainly the case in the way Polish rulers made possible a tolerant multi-racial society when Europe was doing the opposite, in the way freedom to vote was seen as a virtue and in the way it organised itself along its own model rather than allow itself to be influenced. The way the Commonwealth with Lithuania was governed was very advanced for its time, it was far removed from the more typical conquer-and-rule way of expanding borders, bringing advantages to both sides through co-operation. In the end the country fought for its right to survive and lost when its three larger neighbours conspired to divide and plunder it. The dynamics involved in Poland's fall, from memory, were also well explained and interesting in the way the it becomes clear that the virtues of the Polish way, were also the source of its weaknesses when confronted with more belligerent neighbours. The events after WWII created an artificially divided Europe commonly referred to East and West. This is being corrected now that the EU is poised to expand its borders to include Central Europe. This book is essential reading for those that want these current day events put into a clear historical context. 1000 years of history can never be adequately covered in one small volume, the main faults are of omission, nevertheless I suspect this book is the nearest to describing the essence of Poland that is available in the English language.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?