We celebrate with fanfare Eve Krzyzanowski and Alex Storozynski’s eagerly awaited film, Kościuszko: A Man Ahead of his Time, which tells the story of the man whose brilliant military skill secured American independence, and who understood better than anyone else that liberty can only be justly celebrated when it means freedom for all.In more recent history, Poland and the United Nations by Piotr Długołęcki provides a look at the intrigues that deprived Poland a place at the inaugural conference in San Francisco in 1945, while M.B.B. Biskupski brings them into sharp relief in Potsdam and Poland. And Justine Jablonska pays tribute to the bravest and most loyal men and women of WWII.
The Piłsudski Institute Crosses the River is a heady brew distilled from the history of an archive, an ethnic neighborhood and the Polish diaspora by Beth Holmgren. We suggest you quaff it in Greenpoint with the best Polish food west of Warsaw.
There once was a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state in the heart of Europe. Thaddeus Gromada revisits the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and so should we.
On a junket for journalists in 1988, On the Eve of Freedom, Stephanie Kraft encountered a stubborn and determined people she had never thought about before. She has been returning to Poland every year since, learned the language, and translated a 19th century classic.
In his novel Emancipated Women, another man ahead of his time, Bolesław Prus, proposes that it’s all about economic independence. After that, the minor issues will take care of themselves. Stephanie Kraft translated, Irene Tomaszewski reviews.
Diana Sacilowski reviews two contemporary books, Joanna Nizyńska’s study of Warsaw Uprising poet Miron Białoszewski, and Halina Filipowicz’s highly original Taking Liberties, a sharp study of iconic Polish heroes and changing perceptions of patriotism as presented in Polish drama from the 1600s to the present.
And finally, Justine Jablonska finds a lot in common with Bozena Andre, the author of a new novel – Blood and Scars – with whom she shared a childhood in which the personal is steeped in the historical, and not always understood until much later.
We wish to thank the Polish Consulate in Los Angeles for its support of this issue. And as ever, we are grateful to all our writers for providing our readers with such a wide range of topics.