Poland: A History by Adam Zamoyski
426 pp., 5.5 x 8.55
"... excellent and authoritative ... Such an extraordinary national trajectory demands an accessible and scholarly accounting. Zamoyski succeeds admirably in
— London Daily Telegraph
"fresh, different, and brilliantly readable ... It is the perfect introduction for those who know nothing about the country, yet will also provide some positive food for thought to those who imagined they knew it all too well."
— The Spectator
When Adam Zamoyski’s bestselling first history of Poland, The Polish Way, was published in 1987, the country was in a state of subjugation, with most of its living culture surviving only underground or in exile. Though the election of Pope John Paul II in 1978 and the dramatic rise of the Solidarity movement in the early 1980s brought Poland to the world’s attention, it was only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 that Poland was rejuvenated as a political entity.
As Zamoyski set out to update The Polish Way, he realized the task required not so much re-writing as re-thinking the known facts as well as the assumptions of the past. The events of the last twenty years and the growth of the independent Polish state allowed him to look at Poland’s past with a fresh eye. Tracing Poland’s complex development from the Middle Ages to present day, Zamoyski examines the country’s political, economic, and military struggles, as well as its culture, art, and richly varied society through the ages, bringing the major events and characters in Poland’s history to life.
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 freelance 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 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March on Moscow. He is married to the painter Emma Sargeant and resides in England.