Recenzja książki Andrzeja Nowaka, Pierwsza zdrada zachodu. 1920 – zapomniany appeasement, Kraków 2015, 603 s.

Jacek Goclon


Review: Andrzej Nowak, The First Betrayal of the West. 1920 – Forgotten Appeasement, Kraków 2015, 603 p.

What is innovative in this study of the West’s attitude towards the Polish army struggling alone against Bolshevik Russia is the presentation of the discussed issue based on the rich archives of Great Britain, the USA, Russia, Switzerland, and Poland. The extensive basis is the collection of documents and printed sources as well as press articles and studies. The monograph is a very valuable item due to the quotation of many unknown or little-known archival sources, which brings readers closer to the “Polish cause” of the politicians of the great powers, deciding then on the fate of the European continent. The most interesting part of the monograph is the third part, in which the author attempted to reach, based on unused documents, the reasons for the attitude of appeasement, i.e. the attempt by the Entente states to calm down Bolshevik Russia, at the expense of the smaller states of the central-eastern part of the European continent. It is a rich psychological analysis of the motives of attitudes of the most influential politicians of that era, towards a settlement with the new rulers  of Moscow. The publication is an exceptional and very carefully published work, which also contains little-known photographs from the era when the fate of the Polish Republic was weighing in the balance. In the event of a defeat in the war with Bolshevik Russia, Poland  would have been thrown into the abyss of communist hell, in the cruel Russian variety met by other nations, and would have lost its independence in 1920. It most probably would not have regained it in 1945, even in the much truncated form of the eventual reality of the Polish People’s Republic. Particularly noteworthy is the captivating style of the narrative and, most importantly, the firm assumption of theses, based mostly on quotes from sources, which, naturally, is extremely convincing for the reader. All this makes this academically  valuable monograph worth recommending to a wide range of readers.

Słowa kluczowe: postawa państw zachodnich wobec Polski, ustępliwość wobec Rosji, wartościowa podstawa źródłowa monografii / attitude of Western states towards Poland, yielding to Russia, valuable source basis of the monograph

Kwartalnik ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.
Pierwotną wersją czasopisma jest wersja elektroniczna publikowana w internecie.