(2 entries: book, article)
1. Denis Clark, Passion and Restraint: Poles and Poland in Western Diplomacy, 1914-1921 (Montreal: McGill Queens University Press, 2022).
Keywords: Poland - Foreign Relations - 1918-1945; Polish question; Polish people - Europe, Central - History - 20th Century
Abstract: Passion and Restraint examines how British, French, and American foreign policymakers interacted with Poles and the idea of an independent Poland in the era of the First World War. Western policymakers knew little about Poland in 1914, but by war's end they were drawing the new country's borders, sending humanitarian aid, and imposing minority protections. Attitudes regarding national character and emotional restraint were central, intertwined themes in British, French, and American diplomacy during this period of Polish rebirth, and policymakers' opinions of national character evolved based on personal experiences, political conditions, and dominant understandings of the Polish people in the early twentieth century. Amid these changing attitudes, policymakers emphasized the necessity of Polish emotional restraint.
Demonstrating how emotions and stereotypes were integral to diplomatic decision-making, Passion and Restraint brings attention to these often-overlooked historical factors, advancing a new lens for the study of Polish, European, and international history.
2. Elżbieta Ostrowska, “Secret Agents, Informers, and Traitors: Agnieszka Holland's Fever (Gorączka, 1980),” Studies in Eastern European Cinema, 2022. DOI: 10.1080/2040350X.2022.2125221
Keywords: Polish cinema, security apparatus, revolution, Agnieszka Holland, Solidarity movement
Abstract: The article examines Agnieszka Holland's film Fever (Gorączka, 1980) depicting the 1905 revolution in Russian Poland. While situating it in various socio-political and cultural contexts, the author examines the significance of the historical event and its parallels to the Solidarity movement. Special attention is given to the fact that both movements were infiltrated and surveilled by the state security apparatuses. Close analysis of the figures of secret agents featured in Fever focuses on their political significance and meanings to reveal how these expressed skepticism and distrust in the possibility of political change. As the author demonstrates, Fever questions the possibility of genuine revolutionary change, yet most importantly it presents the failure as a 'national defeat' rather than a crash of political aspirations of the working class and peasantry.