Poland in the Modern World

Warsaw from Sea to Sea

Another weekend, another protest march in Warsaw…. This one wasn’t as large as some of the others that have made headlines since PiS took power in 2015, but it represented an issue that could become extraordinarily important. Even as Jarosław Kaczyński’s authoritarian rule has grown stronger, even as one public institution after another has fallen,

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Poles Want Democracy

Do Poles value democracy?  That’s a silly question: obviously it depends on what you mean by “democracy.”  Nowadays authoritarian leaders like to describe their regimes as “anti-liberal democracies,” and very few public figures openly criticize democracy as such. When Jarosław Kaczyński, Victor Orbán, Marine Le Pen, or Donald Trump proclaim their belief in democracy, they

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The New History Curriculum in Poland

On December 30 the Polish government released its draft curricular program for primary schools, to go into effect starting September 1 of this year. Last week the University of Warsaw’s Historical Institute issued a statement criticizing the plan. Given the government’s demonstrated disinterest in expert opinions (after all, trained historians are “elites”), there is no

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Breitbart does not lie

For those who have never descended into the cesspool that is Breitbart, now’s your chance: they have written something about Poland. Actually, don’t go there—I’m not going to link to them because I don’t want to be responsible for any traffic to their monstrous site. But the headline today tells you want you need to

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Bibliography of Polish History

I have a request for all readers of this blog.  I’m working on an up-to-date bibliography of Polish history, with an emphasis on the most innovative new scholarship (in either Polish or English). I’m including older works and a few “classics,” but only when they contribute something that is not available in more recent scholarship.

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A Children’s Charity vs. a Conspiracy Theory

Last night (Sunday, January 15) was the annual Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy (WOŚP). The title doesn’t translate well: it means “Great Orchestra of Holiday Help,” but it’s not an orchestral concert and it’s always held a couple weeks after the holidays. It was first organized in 1993 by Jerzy Owsiak, a musician, artist, promoter, and host

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Books