Poland Challenges a Divided World

John Rensenbrink, Author Louisiana State University Press $35 (246p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1446-9
Rensenbrink, who visited Poland in 1983 and again in 1985, found that the Solidarity movement was more pervasive and deep-rooted than the Western media would have us believe. Its supporters include blue- and white-collar workers, farmers, professionals, clerics and students. In one bold strokeits call for self-governing unions and associationsthe Polish resistance fused the fight for economic justice with a demand for civil and political liberties. The author, a Bowdoin professor of government and legal studies, sees Solidarity as Poland's great hope. Part travelogue, part impassioned schol arly meditation, his highly optimistic essay argues that peaceful constitutional change within a Communist system is possible. Neither a vanguard party nor an ideological sect, Solidarity does not fit the mold prescribed by some Western liberals and Marxists, yet as Rensenbrink shows, the movement is embedded in the Poles' age-old traditions of family, church and intellectual dissent. (August)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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