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From the Publisher"The value and importance of this volume are evident. The authors convincingly challenge pessimistic views about Polish-Lithuanian history. Indeed, ideas and practices prevalent in the sixteenth century were in many instances more advanced than those in other European countries. But then came the devastating wars, which filled most of the seventeenth century, brought periods of foreign occupation, and resulted in a general decline in all spheres of life. Polish parliamentarism and republicanism became perverted; invasions by Orthodox and Protestant powers bred intolerance. The Golden Age of the Res Publica was over. Does that mean that the germs of decay were inherent in it? Most countries experience greatness and decline, so why single out the Commonwealth and dwell mainly on the latter? Many such questions come to one’s mind when reading this thought-provoking book."
Piotr S. Wandycz in Slavic Review, vol. 69, no. 3 (Fall 2010)
"The volume lives up to its self-declared historiographical aims. Its purpose was not to offer a new interpretation of the Polish monarchy, but rather to investigate the relationship between power and the practical role of citizens. Here it discloses interesting and valuable information. Additionally, an index, a glossary, and an extensive bibliography, listing printed sources and secondary works, make this volume useful and accessible."
Christian Preusse (Oriel College, University of Oxford), H-Net Reviews (January 2010).