Welcome to autumn at Cosmopolitan Review! Our trumpets announce a long awaited film about Kościuszko; we review the highs and lows of a difficult era; and take a look at books old and new.
2015 Vol. 7 No. 3 — Fall
Loss of territory, no reparations from Germany, a dictatorship imposed from abroad, and no safe return for Polish veterans and wartime exiles. In Washington, London and Moscow power and duplicity ruled; honor and integrity collapsed. M.B.B. Biskupski comments.
There are more statues of Kościuszko in the United States than any other historical figure except George Washington. When Kościuszko talked about freedom, he meant it. So why don’t Americans know who he is? This documentary is a must for a national broadcast. PBS, take note.
Ethnic and religious diversity are now hot topics, something never tried before. Really? The Commonwealth warrants new attention. Thaddeus Gromada provides an introduction.
Only Beth Holmgren can distill a history of an archive, an ethnic neighborhood, Poland and its not-so-faithful allies, and the Polish diaspora including pro bono architects, a credit union, and great food with so much information, affection and élan. And “sto lat” to the Institute’s director, Dr. Iwona Korga.
In a 1988 newscast, Stephanie Kraft heard the hejnał played from the tower of the Mariacki Church and learned that Poles had been doing so all through the communist era. Intrigued by these determined and stubborn people, she chose Poland as her destination for a journalist junket. She has returned every year since.
Justine Jablonska talks to British journalist Bożena Andre about Andre’s new novel, With Blood and Scars, in which Andre takes on that very difficult challenge: combining the personal and the historical in one story. Not easy, when for so long the world refused to acknowledge the historical.
Białoszewski’s works subtly point to the alternative, marginalized, oftentimes unvoiced micro-narratives … showing readers different modes of knowledge and new ways of seeing history and identity. Diana Sacilowski reviews Joanna Niżyńska’s new book.
In Taking Liberties, Halina Filipowicz examines the portrayals of patriotism and identity of iconic heroes, from Kosciuszko to Plater and Wałęsa, in Polish drama from the 1600s to the present. Highly original, acutely observed study of loyalty and honor manipulated by triumphalism and xenophobia. Reviewed by Diana Sacilowski.
Poland’s 19th century novelist, Bolesław Prus, not only championed the emancipation of women but – thoroughly modern man that he was – identified the problem beyond manners and mores. It’s the economy, ladies! He was a pretty good storyteller too. Stephanie Kraft translates, Irene Tomaszewski reviews.