Poland

Poland

by Zoran Pavlovic
     
 

For several generations, the lives of Polish citizens were predetermined by a political system in which they had very little say. Soviet Communists governed Poland from 1945 to 1989 and decided what was best for the people. The Communists promoted an image of the country in which the masses were satisfied with their way of life and unwilling to change. The

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Overview

For several generations, the lives of Polish citizens were predetermined by a political system in which they had very little say. Soviet Communists governed Poland from 1945 to 1989 and decided what was best for the people. The Communists promoted an image of the country in which the masses were satisfied with their way of life and unwilling to change. The deterioration of the political and economic climate from the late 1970s throughout the 1980s elicited social discontent and caused a growing number of dangerous confrontations between the government and Polish activists. Eventually, the government loosened its grip, and reform became possible in Poland. The Communist system was dismantled.

Polish citizens who came of age in the 1990s and beyond know little about those times. Today, young Poles see the world through a different lens, as a place in which people are free to establish their own goals in pursuit of individual achievement. Young Poles perceive change as a positive process in their society and see a future filled with possibilities.

About the Author:
Author Zoran Pavlovic is a cultural geographer currently working at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
This geographically oriented series for young adults, "Modern World Nations," is written from the perspective that world history and cultures are mainly influenced by geography rather than by famous people or battles. Author Pavlovic describes Poland's geography—flat plains with a Baltic coast and mountains in the south—as the source of much of its troubled history of invasion, partition, and occupation over the centuries. Surviving invasion and occupation in 1939 by Nazis and Russians, Poland became a satellite of the Soviet Union till 1990, when it faced the problems of environmental pollution, unprofitable industries, and isolation from Western Europe. Pavlovic stresses that Poland's 97% homogeneous Catholic and Slavic population (a result of Jewish genocide during WWII and expulsion of ethnic Germans afterwards) has helped Poles find their identity and work towards prosperity, though a low birth rate may cause problems for the future. Included are chapters about language, the traditional agricultural economy, present government, and an exploration of various administrative regions and major cities like Warsaw, Wroclaw, Crakow, and Gdansk. Although Poland has lately joined the European Union and made significant progress in improving its infrastructure, trade, and productivity, Pavlovic believes that its future depends on abandoning small farming for agribusiness, limiting manufacturing, and developing its service and tourism industries as have other western capitalistic nations. The appeal of the author's conversational style is somewhat diffused by erratic editing, allowing mistakes in punctuation, spelling, and typography. More maps and a glossary of terms would behelpful for teen readers. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791096741
Publisher:
Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date:
07/28/2008
Series:
Modern World Nations Series
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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