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The Polish Revolution: Solidarity

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  6 reviews
“One of the most brilliant and illuminating interpreters of modern eastern Europe . . . a wonderfully vivid writer . . . He reaches the parts that others do not reach.”—Richard Davy, The Times

“The best single account of what happened—and why.”—Newsweek

The definitive account of Solidarity’s spectacular rise and tragic fall . . . a book to set the record straight . . . amply
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Paperback, Third Edition, 439 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Yale University Press (first published November 3rd 1983)
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Mateusz
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Timothy Garton Ash’s book on the early years of a Solidarity movement is a striking blend of history and journalism. Ash managed to write a successful and relatively comprehensive account of the birth of Poland’s free trade union almost as the process was going on, when reliable sources were difficult to come by, and as the official state channels attempted to distort the real picture of the movement (often with success among some spheres of Western audiences).

Solidarity’s mass nature was possib
...more
Wanda
Feb 26, 2010 rated it liked it
This book is touted to be the 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. The author is a professor at Oxford, England, his his academic credentials are impeccable, and he is fully (one might say obsessively) invested in his subject.
The story of Solidarność is familiar to anyone who was even minimally conscious in the past 3 decades. Solidarnoś
...more
marcus miller
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: europe
After spending a month in Poland a couple of years ago with five high school students I wanted to learn more about Solidarity, the movement which set the path for the amazing transformation Poland has experienced. Ash provides a detailed historical account of the Polish resistance movement of 1980 to 1981 referred to as Solidarity. Ash mixes his historical skills and judgments with the first hand accounts he gathered as he spent time with the workers, farmers, and intellectuals participating in ...more
Matt
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 impac ...more
Linda
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good history/case study of the Solidarity movement in Poland, up until 1981.
Doug
Apr 07, 2011 rated it liked it
This was an interesting eye-witness account but since it was written in 1983, it doesn't deal with Solidarity after 1981. Thus its survival and ultimate victory is a whole other book.
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Timothy Garton Ash CMG FRSA is a British historian, author and commentator. 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.

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