Concepts, Culture, and Society in Poland 1944–1989
The thirteen authors of this collective work undertook to articulate matter-of-fact critiques of the dominant narrative about communism in Poland while offering new analyses of the concept, and also examining the manifestations of anticommunism. Approaching communist ideas and practices, programs and their implementations, as an inseparable whole, they examine the issues of emancipation, upward social mobility, and changes in the cultural canon.
The authors refuse to treat communism in Poland in simplistic categories of totalitarianism, absolute evil and Soviet colonization, and similarly refuse to equate communism and fascism. Nor do they adopt the neoliberal view of communism as a project doomed to failure. While wholly exempt from nostalgia, these essays show that beyond oppression and bad governance, communism was also a regime in which people pursued a variety of goals and sincerely attempted to build a better world for themselves.
The book is interdisciplinary and applies the tools of social history, intellectual history, political philosophy, anthropology, literature, cultural studies, and gender studies to provide a nuanced view of the communist regimes in east-central Europe.
About the Authors
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00085006.2022.2101733—Mikołaj Kunicki, Canadian Slavonic Papers
"Much of interest is proposed in this extensive volume, which draws attention to notions of continuing intellectual and perhaps practical importance."
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/slavic-review/article/reassessing-communism-concepts-culture-and-society-in-poland-19441989-ed-katarzyna-chmielewska-agnieszka-mrozik-and-grzegorz-wolowiec-central-european-university-press-budapest-2021-vii-418-pp-notes-bibliography-index-10500-hard-bound/9C9053ADD6E79CD9243A118AF5303A49—Anthony Kemp-Welch, Slavic Review
"Reassessing Communism: Concepts, Culture and Society in Poland, 1944–1989 brings new and important reflections and interpretations of communism in Poland. The book is intended as a polemic with the dominant historical and popular narratives in which communism appears in terms of strangeness: as an aberration or a 'black hole' in Polish history. The authors consistently and convincingly deconstruct this type of narrative. Instead, they propose a picture of communism that cannot be easily subordinated to established patterns, national-centric stereotypes, or totalitarian theories. The authors' approach to communism as a multidimensional 'revolutionary project' is a new and needed perspective in the current state of research on the history of postwar Poland."—Małgorzata Fidelis
Other Titles in Marxism & Communism