The Great Powers and Poland: From Versailles to Yalta

The Great Powers and Poland: From Versailles to Yalta

by Jan Karski
     
 

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This definitive study provides a comprehensive diplomatic history of Poland during the most seminal period in its existence, when its destiny lay in the hands of France, Great Britain, and the United States. Although sovereign in principle, Poland was little more than an object of the Great Powers’ politics and rapidly changing relationships from the end of

Overview

This definitive study provides a comprehensive diplomatic history of Poland during the most seminal period in its existence, when its destiny lay in the hands of France, Great Britain, and the United States. Although sovereign in principle, Poland was little more than an object of the Great Powers’ politics and rapidly changing relationships from the end of WWI to the end of WWII. Focusing on the shifting policies of the Great Powers toward Poland from the Treaty of Versailles to Yalta, the book ends with Poland’s tragic abandonment by the West into the hands of the Soviet Union. Enriched by unique anecdotal and archival material, this book will be essential reading for all those seeking to understand Poland’s role in twentieth-century history.

Editorial Reviews

Wanda Urbanska
Jan Karski's long-overlooked second book follows the social trials and political tribulations of Poland from its resurrection as a sovereign state after World War I to its tragic destruction during World War II to its brutal subjection to communist rule in the aftermath of the war. The Great Powers and Poland offers readers a new understanding of Poland's predicament in the twentieth century—a fate resting largely in the hands of negligent allies and rapacious neighbors. For the many readers fascinated by Karski's wartime memoir, Story of a Secret State, this book offers the context, presenting serious scholarship that is at once accessible, compelling, and heartbreaking.
Dennis P. McManus
The thirtieth-anniversary edition of Jan Karski’s masterful work is a welcome resource for scholars and general readers alike. Karski’s clear prose reads as convincingly today as it did when first published in 1985. The sum of his insights, The Great Powers and Poland is a classic read for students of the two great wars, the Cold War that followed, and the Polish revolution that cracked open the Iron Curtain. This moving history is filled with a sense of Poland’s century-long struggle to be free and self-determining—an event Karski lived to see with the end of the Communist occupation. The Great Powers continues to enlighten because it is told in the voice of one who lived through many of the events it retells.
Foreign Affairs - Zbigniew Brzezinski
Jan Karski was the wartime emissary of the Polish underground which first reported to President Roosevelt on the [Nazi] massacre of the Jews in [occupied] Poland. . . . His book, produced after many years of research, is a truly remarkable work. It not only provides the first comprehensive diplomatic history of Poland and the Great Powers, but it is well written, enriched by informative anecdotes and new material from recently opened archives.
Jan Karski Educational Foundation
Originally published in 1985 by University Press of America, Karski's second book provides a comprehensive examination of the role played by Germany, Great Britain, France, the United States and Soviet Union in shaping the fate of Poland after the country regained its sovereignty in 1918. The book focuses on the shifting policies of 'the Great Powers' toward Poland from the Treaty of Versailles to Yalta, and ends with Poland’s brutal subjection to communist rule in the aftermath of World War II. Karski’s research and his in-depth analysis are richly supplemented with archival material and interesting anecdotes. The Great Powers and Poland offers readers a new understanding of Poland's predicament – a fate resting largely in the hands of negligent allies and rapacious neighbors – and its place on the world’s political map of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442226647
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
01/16/2014
Edition description:
Anniversary Edition
Pages:
540
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Jan Karski (1914–2000) was a young diplomat when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939. Taken prisoner by the Soviet Red Army, Karski escaped and joined the Polish underground. He infiltrated both the Warsaw Ghetto and a German concentration camp and then carried the first eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust to a mostly disbelieving West. After World War II, Karski earned a Ph.D. from Georgetown University, where he served as a distinguished professor in the School of Foreign Service for forty years.

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