God's Playground - A History of Poland Vol. II - 1795 to Presentby Norman Davis | ISBN: 0-19-821944-X | Type: Paperback
Published by Oxford University Press, 1981
This book is a must read for anyone with Polish ancestry. Norman Davies, perhaps better known for his monumental "Europe a History" knows a great deal about European history. In this book he takes a far more microscopic view of one single country's history. And what a history!
Of all countries in Europe, Poland has a history that seems to defy its very existence. Chapter after chapter, the author takes us from halcyon through tumultuous events leading ultimately, time after time, to hellish circumstances. One might rightly conclude that Poland seems cursed. Thus the title...
Beyond the persisting cycle of great achievement and tragic defeat, there is the individual history. That of the people, their spirit, and the land, which in Hebrew is Polin, meaning "here (you should) dwell". A landscape rich in natural resources, access to the sea, and fertile plains.
Indeed, for a thorough understanding of the Polish people, God's Playground is about as good a place to start this long arduous journey. Concerning the time frame of this volume (1795 - present), the reader will find many surprising people and events that surpassed the boundaries of Poland, and in many cases impacted the history of many other nations.