This series revisits the historical and contemporary experience of one of America’s largest ethnic groups and the history of a European homeland that has played an important role in twentieth century world affairs. The Polish and Polish-American Studies Series publishes innovative monographs and more general works that offer new, critical, revisionist, or comparative perspectives in the field. Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in profile, the series recruits manuscripts on Polish immigration and ethnic communities and on their country of origin and its various peoples.
John J. Bukowczyk, General Editor
Professor of History
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
313 577 2799
Of trailblazing Polish novelist Orzeszkowa's many works of social realism, Marta is among the best known, but until now it has not been available in English. Easily a peer of The Awakening and A Doll’s House, the novel was well ahead of English literature of its time in attacking the ways the labor market failed women.
As narrow, nationalist views of patriotic allegiance have become widespread and are routinely invoked to justify everything from flag-waving triumphalism to xenophobic bigotry, the concept of a nonnationalist patriotism has vanished from public conversation.
Between the Brown and the Red captures the multifaceted nature of church-state relations in communist Poland, relations that oscillated between mutual confrontation, accommodation, and dialogue. Ironically, under communism the bond between religion and nation in Poland grew stronger. This happened in spite of the fact that the government deployed nationalist themes in order to portray itself as more Polish than communist.
A comparative study of Polish migrants in the Ruhr Valley and in northeastern Pennsylvania, The Borders of Integration questions assumptions about race and white immigrant assimilation a hundred years ago, highlighting how the Polish immigrant experience is relevant to present-day immigration debates. It shows the complexity of attitudes toward immigration in Germany and the United States, challenging historical myths surrounding German national identity and the American “melting pot.”
The Origins of Modern Polish Democracy is a series of closely integrated essays that traces the idea of democracy in Polish thought and practice. It begins with the transformative events of the mid-nineteenth century, which witnessed revolutionary developments in the socioeconomic and demographic structure of Poland, and continues through changes that marked the postcommunist era of free Poland.
When an independent Poland reappeared on the map of Europe after World War I, it was widely regarded as the most Catholic country on the continent, as “Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter.” All the same, the relations of the Second Polish Republic with the Church—both its representatives inside the country and the Holy See itself—proved far more difficult than expected.
The Law of the Looking Glass: Cinema in Poland, 1896–1939 reveals the complex relationship between nationhood, national language, and national cinema in Europe before World War II. Author Sheila Skaff describes how the major issues facing the region before World War I, from the relatively slow pace of modernization to the desire for national sovereignty, shaped local practices in film production, exhibition, and criticism.
At the height of the Nazi extermination campaign in the Warsaw Ghetto, a young Jewish woman, Irena, seeks the protection of her former lover, a young architect, Jan Malecki. By taking her in, he puts his own life and the safety of his family at risk.
The Clash of Moral Nations is a study of the political culture of interwar Poland, as reflected in and by the May 1926 coup and the following period of “sanacja.” It tracks the diverse appropriations and manipulations of that concept, introducing an important cultural and gendered dimension to understandings of national and political identity in interwar Poland.
Polish émigrés have written poignantly about the pain of exile in letters, diaries, and essays; others, more recently, have recreated Polish-American communities in works of fiction. But it is Danuta Mostwin's fiction, until now unavailable in English translation, that bridges the divide between Poland and America, exile and emigration. Mostwin and her husband survived the ravages of World War II, traveled to Britain, and then emigrated to the United States.
At midcentury, two distinct Polish immigrant groups—those Polish Americans who were descendants of economic immigrants from the turn of the twentieth century and the Polish political refugees who chose exile after World War II and the communist takeover in Poland—faced an uneasy challenge to reconcile their concepts of responsibility toward the homeland. The new arrivals did not consider themselves simply as immigrants, but rather as members of the special category of political refugees.
The Grasinski Girls were working-class Americans of Polish descent, born in the 1920s and 1930s, who created lives typical of women in their day. They went to high school, married, and had children. For the most part, they stayed home to raise their children. And they were happy doing that. They took care of their appearance and their husbands, who took care of them.
During Poland’s century-long partition and in the interwar period of Poland's reemergence as a state, Polish writers on both sides of the ocean shared a preoccupation with national identity. Polish-American immigrant writers revealed their persistent, passionate engagement with these issues, as they used their work to define and consolidate an essentially transnational ethnic identity that was both tied to Poland and independent of it.