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KALEIDOSCOPE OF POLAND is a highly readable volume containing short articles on major personalities, places, events, and accomplishments from the thousand-year record of Polish history and culture. Featuring hundreds of entries and illustrations, it provides a handy reference at home, a perfect supplement to guide books when traveling, an aid to language study, or it can be browsed with enjoyment by anyone with an interest in Poland.
Whether it is bagels or the Bug River, Chopin or Madame Curie, the book offers colorful and often witty snapshots of significant individuals, customs, folklore, historic events, phrases, places, geography, and much, much more. Beginning with the emergence of the Polish state in 966 under Mieszko I, to the resurrection of present-day Poland within the European Union, it’s also a sweeping account of the tumult and triumphs the nation has witnessed through much of its history.
This entertaining yet informative book is essentially a “cultural dictionary”—offering a knowledge base that can be referred to time and time again. It will be welcomed by readers of Polish descent, students of Polish, or those planning to visit Poland—anyone seeking a greater insight into this fascinating land.
"Kaleidoscope of Poland will give you a basic yet very authentic knowledge of Poland. It will also impress you with its detailed information on the contemporary culture of the country, so you’ll quickly discover who’s who in Poland and even familiarize yourself with the country’s celebrities. Its many entries on Poland’s rich history and the Poles’ passionate drive for freedom through often turbulent times make it a must-read for anyone wanting to learn about Poland."
—Mariusz Siara, PROLOG Polish Language School, Kraków
"This book is full of insights into the Polish state of mind. As such, it is an absolute must for anyone meaning to visit the country, do business there, or gain some idea of what has been going on in that part of the world for centuries—in an accessible and pleasurable way.”
—Adam Zamoyski, from the foreword
Oscar E. Swan is professor of Slavic languages and literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. The author of over fifteen books, Swan was the first American selected for the Thesaurus Poloniae Award from the Center of International Culture, Kraków. He is also the recipient of the Polonicum Award from the University of Warsaw for outstanding contributions to the promulgation of Polish language, literature, and culture outside of Poland, among other honors.