✈ [PDF / Epub] ✅ Poland By James A. Michener ✸ – Saudionline.co.uk

Poland quotes Poland, litcharts Poland, symbolism Poland, summary shmoop Poland, Poland e045e7f8 Like The Heroic Land That Is Its Subject, James Michener S Poland Teems With Vivid Events And Unforgettble Characters In The Sweeping Span Of Eight Tumultuous Centuries, Three Polish Families Live Out Their Destinies And The Drama Of A Nation In The Grand Tradition Of A Great James Michener Saga

10 thoughts on “Poland

  1. says:

    This epic is a phenomenal account of a remarkable nation and a remarkable people.It documents the resilience of the Polish people, in the face of experiencing their nation being crushed by invaders and powerful neighbors, so many times.It begins in 1981, at the time that Poland lay under the heel of Communist tyranny, as a puppet of that Evil Empire, the Soviet Union, introducing us to the brave Polish farmers leader, Janko Buk, who out of love of his people, prepares to take on the might of the cruel Marxist Leninist monolith.We are then taken back to AD 1204, to discover how Poland bravely stood against the ravages of the savage Mongol and Tartar hordes sweeping through Europe from the East.Michener then documents the repeated rape of Poland through history, by the Germans from the West and the Swedes from the North, as well as the brave role played by the Polish in beating back the Islamic Ottoman invasion of Europe from the south Is Europe once faced by an Islamic invasion in the 21st century.Through the various partitions of that country, whereby Austria, Prussia Germany and Russia, divided that nation amongst themselves, like a cake.Finally in the 20th Century, Poland again re emerged free in 1918, but only for a short while, and was to experience being at the receiving end of the two cruellest and most vicious movements in history, Communism and Nazism may both be erased forever Through this sage we get to know many amazing men and women, representing a most resilient nation.

  2. says:

    A sweeping historical that focuses on eight significant periods of Polish history I am in one of those strange reading phenomenasthis isn t my first time visiting Poland BUT it is the first time I ever read a book about Poland or set in Poland that isn t exclusively talking about the Holocaust In fact, type in your search engine books set in or about Poland and be prepared to be not surprised.So what did Michener teach me Well, the country of Poland and its people have been at the centre of a lot of conflict through the centuries Time and time again, the scenes in the story seem to show other countries such as Russia, Germany, France, and Austria feeling deeply devoted to keeping Poland under their thumb Despite this need to quell the happiness of the people, Michener points out the resilience of a people that he obviously came to admire As he states in his foreword, he travelled to Poland eight times and traced the steps of his characters and consulted many historians and collections So this book certainly was interesting but having read a few of the author s other works, I found this one a bit dry As I had mentioned earlier, Poland was a big target Plenty of times it was invaded and villages destroyed and people killed So Michener is definitely writing from the angle of a military historian with all of the strategies and tactics used Secondly, I felt that all characters no matter what period of time or century were the same whether fictional or real suffered the dialogue came across as stilted and repetitive Also Michener describes many Polish figures featured as ugly even grotesquely ugly The one or two women who sound even remotely interesting he disposes of quickly..The latter doesn t surprise me as it makes him a product of his time and in his books he does tend to follow the male line Overall, I do want to find a few books that provide details on certain periods of history that this book does touch on.

  3. says:

    Poland was one of several Michener historical novels I read in the late 70s and early 80s, when it seemed everybody else was doing the same I rarely hear him mentioned these days and wonder why.I hadn t intended to read it again now, but a copy fell into my lap, and after opening it idly I was hooked.Large chunks of the story had stayed with me over the years I remembered Michener s accounts of the invasions by Tatars and Swedes, and the unspeakable things those people did wonder why modern day Poles don t seem to have a chip on their shoulders the way other nations do about past atrocities I remembered the three layers of Polish society that Michener portrays as a constant throughout the eight centuries that are covered the pragmatic but usually self centered upper nobility, the romantic but perhaps selfish gentry, and the serfs, who are taken completely for granted by their masters while steadfastly serving as the country s greatest resource.Reading Poland s long tale of woe, I thought of Arnold Toynbee s ironic quote, History is something unpleasant that happens to other people We are comfortably outside all of that I am sure My first reading was during Morning in America, when one might have been excused for feeling safely insulated from such terrible events This time, beginning with the opening scene in which modern day Poles confront the reality that communism has failed them, through the point near the end when a true believer betrays his compatriot over an ideological disagreement, I found reason to wonder how closely events over the next generation or so, much closer to home, may replicate what is portrayed here.The good news is that after every calamity, Michener s Poles rebuild So, taking the long view, it s probably reasonable to hope that our descendents can do the same, after the lessons of history have been learned yet again.

  4. says:

    I like James Michener a lot That said, it s obvious that he s not for everybody and in fact, I would argue that most people are not reading James Michener correctly And before you say, You shouldn t need to be told how to read something in order to be able to read it, I would say this people should have some understanding of say, the Bible, or the Qur an, or of Nietzche, or Plato, or Buddhist Sutras before you start engaging with them Or if you re trying to argue that that s intense philosophy, not fictional novels, well you have a selection to choose from, because we do the same with Shakespeare s plays, with Dickens novels, etc So I d argue that a primer is necessary for those who are not familiar with the novels of James Michener Michener has been called the King of beach reading, which I find mysterious because his books are massive and if you are reading a hard cover, first edition copy like I was can cause wrist cramps which doesn t seem ideal while lying on coastal paradise, being enveloped into the annals of a country that was raped by historical forces and the madness of humanity over and over again James Michener, quite simply, tries to capture the essence of an era into a novelized format For example, his novel Space begins with the close of the second World War and the escape of Peenemunde scientists from the Third Reich to the United States, and ends with the development of the Space Shuttle And between those important events, it covers the political intrigue, the military industrial terror of the 60s and 70s, the excitement and thrill of landing on the moon, the pop culture and misinformation of the American people, and then the tragedy of space accidents like Apollo 1 And all through these epic events, the mystical location, and the representative characters, there s the theme woven through the novel what is humanity s next step Knowing what you know now, you can probably construct the basics of Michener s Poland it s about a fictional village Bukowo on the Vistula between Krakow and Warsaw It features three families representing the nobility Lubonski , the rising middle class Bukowski , and the peasantry Buk And it is woven through with an important theme immortalized in this phrase A Pole is a man born with a sword in one hand and a brick in the other When the fighting is over, he rebuilds When Michener wrote Poland, it was one of the most prosperous nations in the Warsaw Pact, and was facing the least of the Soviet repressions, the memory of the Nazi terror in Poland was still fresh in everyone s mind, and with Karol Wojtyla just elected to the Papacy in Rome, he began his historical research The first four chapters represent essentially the entirety of Polish history From the East, West, North, South, discussing the events and effects of the invasions of Poland or just Eastern Europe in general by the Tatars in the 1240s, the Teutonic Knights in 1410, the Swedish Protestants in the 1650s, and the Turkish attempt to capture Vienna, famously defeated by the Polish King Jan Sobieski in 1683 In addition to the fictional families of Bukowo that are witnessing the attacks on their nation, Michener also introduces the Von Eschl family who begin as the hereditary rulers of the Teutonic Knights, dedicated to the Germanization of Poland All of the historical set up in the book builds up to two main events the Partition, and The Terror, describing World War II in Poland Michener represents Poland as a nation ahead of its time At the end of the eighteenth century she was busy viciously attempting to adopt sorts of reforms that would allow a gentle rise of a middle class, a pacified peasantry, but ultimately to the emasculation of the nobility There was no justification for this terrible rape of a free land Such nations as Switzerland had long been encouraged to exist as buffers between larger powers, and there was no reason why Poland should have been denied this privilege, except that she had committed two fatal errors she had evolved no way to defend herself with a stable government, regular taxation and a dependable army and in her weakness she had endeavored to initiate freedoms which threatened the autocracies which surrounded her Had her neighbors been England, France and America instead of Russia, Prussia and Austria, she would surely have been permitted to exist, for the innovations she was proposing were merely extensions of what that first trio had already accepted To be both weak and daring is for a nation an impossibility Instead, she opted to protect what was called The Golden Freedom, the ability for Polish nobles to veto any action of the elected monarch, and instead lost all freedoms for well over a century Her short lived republic between the World Wars ended tragically, once again caught in her nightmare of being torn apart by the Germans to her west and the Russians to her east I have not been to Poland yet, but in 1910, my great grandfather arrived in America from what was the Russian Kingdom of Poland The quote above about swords and bricks really resonates with me, and I can see how that cultural standpoint works so well in my family history Or even this one from the Tatar invasion, which explains certain facial features those of us with Polish heritage might find ourselves staring at Asian friends in the mirror and wondering Of course, in February of 1242 they did produce bastards, but young ones were so earnestly needed to rebuild the settlement that no disgrace adhered to them Such events, repeated over the centuries, accounted for the fact that many Poles along the Vistula would have darkened skins and eyes slightly aslant, as if they represented echoes out of Asia I look forward to going to Poland in the near future and seeing how well Michener s novel holds up to the feeling of being in Poland in the 21st Century, because he presents a fantastic image of its history, with all the bravery, the challenge, and the foreshadowing of triumph that Poland would soon achieve He mentions Lech Walesa a few pages in, and remember, this was first published in 1983, prior to his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, and his future election in the Polish Solidarity Revolution It s an excellent introduction to Michener fiction, just remember that when you see characters espousing expository dialogue, that they aren t fictional characters like you might see in other novelists work they re personified segments of entire portions of a society In a certain and important way, we all are Even those of us who are echoes out of Poland.

  5. says:

    What I knew about Poland was pretty limited that the Second World War began with Hitler s invasion of the country, and of course, Pope John Paul II, but not very much else I d honestly forgotten that Marie Curie was Polish as was Chopin So, Michener s book was a great way for me to get to know about this land Michener sets his story in the fictional village of Bukowo, and around three families, the peasant Buk, the lesser noble Bukowski, and the magnate Lubonski, and we follow members of these families from the thirteenth century to the 1980s where the story opens and closes The story opens with negotiations between farmers and the government in 1980s Poland, the farmer from the Buk family and the minister from the Bukowskis, with the government s stand being communist and Russian, and the farmers a demand for freedom, and better work conditions From there we travel back to 1204, and then through Polish history back to this time to see how the dispute is finally resolved Poland is a country with no natural borders, which, along with its system of government where the elected ruler was never allowed to have much power lest he deprive the magnates of theirs, led the country to always fall prey to invaders some invasions were repulsed, others not, so for a period of over 140 years, the country even ceased to exist, having been divided between Germany, Russia, and Austria But it was resilient and always rebuilt all that was destroyed, time and time again The book, as is the case with Michener, gave me a holistic picture of the country, of major events a lot of which were wars and invasions and of the character, the resilience of this country Besides war, music is another theme that Michener explores, Polish music vis vis others, not as structured but with a spirit of its own The long chapter on the second world war and how it impacted the country was somewhat of an eye opener for me, because I really didn t know or realise the extent to which the Polish people those who weren t Jewish were also targeted, and lost their lives in concentration camps Michener picks up some of the most horrifying incidents in Majdaneck which are chilling, heartbreaking, and leave one without words But worse than that, the end of that chapter was as much or ominous that the chapter itself, for the end of the war didn t spell the end of the trials for the country In fact, the book itself also ends on a rather ominous note, but of course this is speaking of circumstances forty years ago But aside from this, I enjoyed following the various characters, and their stories it took some getting used to to make a connection between the various generations and family members but once I got my head around that, I began to enjoy not that this is the right word considering all the hardships the faced following their stories, and seeing how things turned out for all of them This was an excellent read, although sombre in tone mostly, and with much that was heartbreaking.

  6. says:

    This book is less the history of Poland and the Polish people and their neighbor and it was well written by the author hence no dull moment The author is a Genius hence I gave it to 4 Star.

  7. says:

    Fantastic book Being of Polish heritage I found this book to be especially good I would recommend this one.

  8. says:

    First Michener I ve read Interesting setting and history, wide in scope Covers a lot of ground.

  9. says:

    4.25 stars Poland by James A Michener was his ninth work that I read, and as always his writing style kept me glued to the text However, amongst his four epic works of historical fictions that I have read so far, this one although pretty interesting, I would keep it at the bottom of my personal favourite list, right under Hawaii, while having his Alaska at the second position, and the best being The Source.The book is divided into nine parts 1 The book starts and ends with agricultural problems in communist Poland of around the late 1970s The dilemmas faced by different Polish people is exhibited in these two chapters the ones who wanted to have a democratic Poland and the ones who wanted a socialist Poland and believed that the Soviet Union can lead them into the right direction 4 stars 2 FROM THE EAST 5 stars The Tatar Mongolian attacks from the East in the early part of the 13th century, is well described, this being one of the darkest times in Polish history Of how the Tatars had come along as riding raiders and pillaged towns across the region, without any remorse The only thing they learnt from the Polish people was the concept of a city, an orderly collection of human beings who could accomplish results that a horde of wandering individuals never could And as they remembered Krakow, they established Karakorum.3 FROM THE WEST 5 stars In the late 14th century, Poland is invaded and occupied by the Order of the Teutonic Knights from the West Germany However, at the Battle of Grunwald, the combined Polish Lithuanian army having defeated the Teutonic Knights, laid the groundwork for the decline of the Order This battle is very well presented.4 FROM THE NORTH 5 stars Depicting the Swedish ravaging invasion of Poland from the North during the reign of the Polish King Jan Kazimir, in the 17th century 5 FROM THE SOUTH 5 stars Being invaded by the Ottoman Empire from the South during the late 17th century, Poland fights back to protect itself and all of Western Europe, at the Battle of Vienna Even though it is an act of violent descriptions, these were wonderful to read and know.6 THE GOLDEN FREEDOM 4 stars This chapter included description of life and politics in the 18th century, under what was called as The Golden Freedom , wherein the Sejm the Polish parliament , which the king was required to hold every two years, was elected by all nobles, while ignoring the majority peasants The liberum veto by which one man in a Seym of hundreds could negate and prorogue the entire work of the Seym by merely crying I oppose is also very well described, being a major cause of Poland s partitioning and eventually its disappearance from the map of Europe for than a hundred years The liberum veto was defended as the last refuge upon which a free man the magnate or his henchman could rely to defend his freedom. 7 MAZURKA 4 stars This chapter describes life in Vienna, at the end of the 19th century, at the height of the Habsburg monarchy, discussing the life of Polish exiles during the country s partition period Description of Polish culture through its language, visual arts and music is shown, exhibiting the fact that despite the absence of the country, politically, people still loved and retained their beloved Polish culture.8 SHATTERED DREAMS 4 stars Taking place during the first quarter of the 20th century after the reconstitution of Poland, the Polish Russian Battle of Zamosc Battle of Komarow, as per the Russians is described and stressed upon, in which the Poles had won.9 THE TERROR 5 stars This chapter begins with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, followed by the life of Poles during its occupation, and much later by Soviet occupation The Holocaust is a big part of the chapter, although the Jews while being kept in the background, focus was laid upon the ways in which the Poles were treated by the Nazis This provided me with a perspective I did not yet know much about The Polish resistance movement in the forests are also a big part of the scenes in this chapter.Overall, I loved and enjoyed reading the book, just like any another Michener novel Michener s writing style is what keeps it going, and along with it his thorough research and depiction of historical facts Prior to the reading of this book, personally I did not know anything about Polish history, excepting at the times of the Second World War But this book did provide me with some astonishing and interesting knowledge about Polish history covering the span of its last eight hundred years Very intriguing indeed

  10. says:

    As a bestseller, the 1984 Corgi edition of this novel retailed at NZ 9.95 I found this gem in a second hand book sale for NZ 3 It would have been worth full price if it had been sold as a current bestseller The copy I now hold belonged at some stage to one L de Groot It s a book I ll add to my hoard because even though I may never read it again, I treasure it.I read a few of Michener s sagas many years ago and he is the master of blending fact and fiction in fascinating stories In a miniscule way, by comparison, I m providing a little snapshot of the history of NZ s Campbell Island in my next novel Island of Regrets.That aside, I had to recommend Poland to readers, who have not yet discovered it, as a great read that will keep you enthralled from start to finish.With such a history, it is amazing that any Poles survived let alone, as the book blurb says, with an unconquered heart The novel reveals this spirit in all its drama and tragedy The novel is rightly described in the blurb as spectacular and few novels better justify that tag.In the first external examination I ever took as a young person I failed in the subject history but, after reading Michener, the essence of Poland s history is imprinted in my brain.

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