Jak być (zostać) dobrym historykiem? Marcin Kula, Jerzy Jedlicki, historyk nietypowy, Stowarzyszenie Otwarta Rzeczpospolita, Wydawnictwo Nisza, Warszawa 2018, ss. 154.

Joanna Schiller-Walicka


Jerzy Jedlicki (1930–2018) should be regarded as one of the best and most interesting historians of the post-war generation. Not only can his oeuvre be defined by its wideranging scope (from economic and social history, including research on the 19th-century nobility and intelligentsia, to the history of ideas), but also by peculiar research methodology. By choosing letters Jedlicki wrote to Witold Kula, his mentor, between 1963 and 1974, and providing them with an original commentary, Marcin Kula strived to characterize the most important traits of this historical methodology. He called Jedlicki an ‘unusual historian’ which begs the question whether Jedlicki can really be referred to as such. According to the reviewer, the approach to historiography developed and practiced by Jedlicki should be treated as exemplary; some of its peculiarities stemmed mostly from his personality. As a deeply self-aware individual, by the way in which he chose his research interests, formulated and solved research problems, he was able to adjust them to his personality and transform weaknesses he found into strengths. He succeeded in combining the career as an historian with maintaining a keen interest in current affairs, which is reflected in his journalistic writings; also while examining the past, he always bore in mind its impact on the contemporary human condition. His historical works have served readers if not as a source of ready-made answers, then at least as creative reflection on the problems bothering modern man.

Słowa kluczowe: Jerzy Jedlicki, Witold Kula, historiografia PRL, warsztat naukowy, multidyscyplinarność , historiography of the Polish People’s Republic, research methodology, multidisciplinarity

Jedlicki J., Minimum liberalne, „Przegląd Polityczny” 2018, nr 147.

Jedlicki J., Świat zwyrodniały. Lęki i wyroki krytyków nowoczesności, Warszawa 2000.