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Week 4: Polish History

  • What was the Polish 'nation of nobles'?

  • What are the most important narratives of the Polish national past?
  • Where is Poland?
  • What makes a Pole a Pole?

Essential Reading

Adam Mickiewicz, Pan Tadeusz (Invocation) - scroll down to the excerpt

Snyder, Timothy, The Reconstruction of Nations. Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (New Haven and London, 2003), pp. 15-51. E-Book (restricted to 1 user at a time, do not wait to the last minute before reading it)


Davies, Norman, Heart of Europe. The Past in Poland's Present. New edition (Oxford, 2001) [Chapter 5: ‘The Legacy of an Ancient Culture: Poland before 1795’]. E-Book, restricted to 1 user at a time),There also a few hard copies in the library.


Lukowski, Jerzy and Hubert Zawadzki, A Concise History of Poland (Cambridge, 2019), 83-132. [Chapter 3: The Commonwealth of Two Nations, 1572-1795] E-Book


Lukowski/Zawadzki, A Concise History of Poland, pp. 171-233 [= Chapter 4: Challenging the Partitions, 1795-1864]. E-Book

Recommended Reading

Lukowski/Zawadzki, A Concise History of Poland, pp. 171-233 [= Chapter 5: An Era of Transformation 1865-1914]. E-Book

Porter, Brian, 'The Catholic Nation: Religion, Identity, and the Narratives of Polish History', American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, 45, 2 (2001), pp. 289-299.

Wandycz, Piotr S., ‘Historiography of the Countries of Eastern Europe: Poland’, American Historical Review, 97 (1992), pp. 1011-1025.

Additional Reading

Halecki, Oskar, Problems of Polish Historiography, Slavonic and East European Review, American Series, 2 (1943), pp. 223-239.

Lukowski, Jerzy, 'Political Ideas amongst the Polish Nobility in the Eighteenth Century (to 1788)', The Slavonic and East European Review, 82, 1 (2004), pp. 1-26

Porter, Brian, 'Thy Kingdom Come: Patriotism, Prophecy, and the Catholic Hierarchy in Nineteenth-Century Poland', The Catholic Historical Review, 2 (2003), pp. 213-239.

Davies, Norman, God's Playground. A History of Poland. Vol. 2: 1795 to the Present. Revised Edition (New York, 2005), pp. 256-272.

Dabrowski, Patrice M., 'What Kind of Modernity Did Poles Need? A Look at Nineteenth-Century Nation-Making', Nationalities Papers, 29 (2001), pp. 509-523. (electronic resource – University Library)

Dabrowski, Patrice M., 'Russian-Polish Relations Revisited, or the ABC's of "Treason"', Kritika4 (2003), pp. 177-199 (Review) (electronic resource – University Library)

Brock, Peter, John Stanley, and Piotr Wrobel (eds), Nation and History: Polish Historians from the Enlightenment to the Second World War (Toronto 2006).

Porter, Brian A., 'Democracy and Discipline in Late Nineteenth Century Poland', The Journal of Modern History, 71, 2 (1999), pp. 346-393.