» » Poland

Download Poland epub

by James Michener

Book by Michener, James
Download Poland epub
ISBN: 0816137285
ISBN13: 978-0816137282
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: James Michener
Publisher: G K Hall & Co (September 1984)
ePUB size: 1947 kb
FB2 size: 1413 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 250
Other Formats: docx mbr lrf doc

I hate Amazon's "tick the boxes" approach, so I'm going to ignore it!
I bought this latest copy as a present to a friend of Polish extraction who was unaware of much of the history of her own country (I've had my own copy for decades). It's very much typical Michener - a phenomenal wide-ranging account of the long and colorful history of a very complicated country (which has suffered from ever-changing borders and from time to time hasn't really been a country at all!) which has played an important role in European history. Don't look for characters with deep emotional agonizing or profound spiritual insights; I don't think that's ever been Michener's strong suit. But it's very entertaining, easy reading (just as well, given its length!), and a superb way of getting a good background understanding of a part of the world we should all know much more about. Like Michener's best books (of which "The Source" has always been one of my favorites) it's a way of being educated while at the same time thoroughly enjoying yourself.
Originally read it in the mid 80's when it was first published and the Iron Curtain was up. Amazing to re-read it now and note how prophetic it was when Michener penned it. It has been a joy 30 years later, and as 90 % of the text is about historical Poland it will never be out of date. Because so many people thing of Poland as always existing, if you haven't read it, the book is an interesting way to learn the history of North-Eastern Europe in general and Poland in particular.
It's a great read concerning the history of Poland from the 1200's to the 1980's and the many generations of 3 families. While the 3 families are fictional there are many historical figures intermixed with the trials and tribulations of the families over the course of the generations.
This is a flattering and colorful portrait of the would-be neutral pacifists of Eastern Europe, a stubborn and crafty people, hardened by round after round of invasion by the Mongols, Tatars, Swedes, Germans, Cossacks, and Russians. The brilliance of this novel is in the way Michener makes history come to life. Though he surely takes bold creative liberties in putting flesh on the skeletal historical remains of the past, the character development and dialogue make this one of the most memorable historical fiction novels I've read.

Michener's range is wide- never before have I read an account of the holocaust more sobering, or an account of 19th century classical music so inspiring. Behind every battle there's a miraculous story of ingenuity, from the Polish horsemen confusing enemies with whistling feathered adornments, to winning a battle by waiting in the shade while the approaching army sweat in the midday heat. Colorful characters come to life in each chapter; there's Pawel, the spy whose talent is that his features make him appear much far more ignorant than he really is; Piotr, the flaky royal sibling who drifts into the woods and climbs trees with the children. So many of these personal stories ends in tragedy; gruesome death, or romantic love stifled to make way for a strategic marriage for status or wealth. Within this tremendous range, the most enduring image of the book is the stubborn Professor Tomczyk, putting his fist in the air and shouting "Rebuild! Rebuild!" as he is hung by the Nazis. There's an old saying that every Pole is born with a brick in their left hand and a sword in their right hand, and this book makes me believe it.
This is a wonderfully beautiful book. I could hear Chopin and visualize the art. I don't agree with the WW II propaganda though. Poland has saved us Europeans many times from Mongols, Taters, Ottomans, etc and they get little credit. Where am I going for xmas? Poland
I hadn't read any Michener in a long, long time, but having spent a recent vacation in Poland, it seemed like a good time to revisit him.

POLAND reminded me of Edmund Rutherford's Sarum. It spans history,and looks at the roots of where Poland is today. It brings the reader into the time and one feels as if one is that fly on the wall, listening as nobles plot in their own self-interest. Michener wanders his fiction deftly through the facts of this beleaguered nation in a way that provides the reader with characters to love and hate, with a sense of time and space and a real desire to root for not a character, but a country. In the end, we come away with incredible respect for the endurance of Poland and its people.

Make no mistake, like Rutherford or Follett or any other epic writer, Michener has a formula. But it's not one that is abrasive, and it serves its purpose. This is a good read for a day in the sun or curled up next to a fireplace for anybody with a taste for history, political intrigue and characters that make you want to be a better person yourself.
I bought this book to replace a copy lost during a move, so obviously I think enough of it to repurchase. The nice thing about historical fiction such as this is you gain a little knowledge in the course of a good story. This takes place in a part of the world that is going through some issues as I write this review and this books gives a sense of the history and upheaval from past centuries that color outlooks even today.
James A. Michener surprises again with his meticulous history of Poland. I gave a copy of this book to a nurse who attended me in a hospital, a few years ago. She was a Polish immigrant to our country and I detected that she was proud of her mother country. She was overjoyed with the facts about Poland that Mr. Michener had uncovered, that she hadn't known. James Michener really researches his books prior to releasing them to the public. His job is excellent as usual. "Poland" has been on the book market for many years. If you're a history fan, you've got to get "Poland." Great book.