Kaleidoscope of Poland: A Cultural Encyclopedia
Kaleidoscope of Poland: A Cultural Encyclopedia (Pitt Russian East European) Hardcover – December 31, 2015
by Oscar E. Swan (Author), Ewa Kolaczek (Contributor)
Foreword by Adam Zamoyski
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 approximately 900 compact text entries and 600 illustrations, it will be a handy reference at home, a perfect supplement to traditional guide books when traveling, an aid to language study, or simply browsed with enjoyment from cover to cover by anyone with an interest in Poland.
The entries describe essential features of Poland from the mundane to the sublime. Whether it is bagels or the Bug River, Chopin or Madame Curie, the authors offer 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 highly entertaining yet informative book is essentially a “cultural dictionary”—offering a knowledge base that can be referred to time and time again. Kaleidoscope of Poland will be welcomed by readers of Polish descent, students of Polish, or anyone planning to visit Poland—anyone seeking a greater insight into this fascinating land.
“Kaleidoscope of Poland is a book that will give you a basic yet very authentic knowledge of Poland, without being in any way dry. 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. But its usefulness is by no means confined to novices. Even after decades of living with and struggling to understand what ‘Poland’ really is, I will be quietly dipping into it to find out things I never got round to enquiring about.”
—Adam Zamoyski, from the foreword
About the Author
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 the outstanding promulgation of Polish language, literature, and culture outside of Poland, among other honors.
Ewa Kolaczek is a graduate of Polish studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She paints, teaches Polish to foreigners, and is the author of Polish language-learning materials. Her special interests include the culture of Mloda Polska (Young Poland), the flora and fauna of the Podhale (High Tatras), and the history of the kresy (former Eastern Poland).
Series: Pitt Russian East European
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (December 31, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 10 inches