Rebuilding Poland: Workers and Communists, 1945-1950 (Paperback)
  • Rebuilding Poland: Workers and Communists, 1945-1950 (Paperback)
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Rebuilding Poland: Workers and Communists, 1945-1950 (Paperback)

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£27.99
Paperback 360 Pages / Published: 15/08/2012
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The first book to examine the communist takeover in Poland from the bottom up, and the first to use archives opened in 1989, Rebuilding Poland provides a radically new interpretation of the communist experience. Padraic Kenney argues that the postwar takeover was also a social revolution, in which workers expressed their hopes for dramatic social change and influenced the evolution-and eventual downfall-of the communist regime.Kenney compares Loedz, Poland's largest manufacturing center, and Wroclaw, a city rebuilt as Polish upon the ruins of wartime destruction. His account of dramatic strikes in the textile mills of Loedz shows how workers resisted the communist party's encroachment on factory terrain and its infringements of worker dignity. The contrasting absence of labor conflict among migrants in the frontier city of Wroclaw holds important clues to the nature of stalinism in Poland: communist power was strongest where workers lacked organizational ties or cultural roots. In the collective reaction of workers in Loedz and the individualism of those in Wroclaw, Kenney locates the beginnings of the end of the communist regime. Losing the battle for worker identity, the communists placed their hopes in labor competition, which ultimately left the regime hostage to a resistant work force and an overextended economy incapable of reform.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801477935
Number of pages: 360
Weight: 28 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"This book is a solid, well-researched, and well-argued study of the origins of the communist era in Poland. It shows the significance of gender differences in determining working-class action and demonstrates the complexity of Polish labor history, clearly delineating the differences between two working-class communities: Lodz and Wroclaw."-Richard D. Lewis, Slavic Review
"With the passage of time and the opening of archives after the fall of Communism new and more soundly based academic perspectives are emerging about many key issues concerning the establishment of Communist rule in Eastern Europe. Kenney's well-documented study refutes both extreme views. . . . He traces out a more complex and dynamic interpretation. . . . Kenney presents two detailed, but highly contrasting, case-studies of Loedz and Wroclaw in the 1945-50 period."-George Sanford, Slavonic and East European Review
"An important book on an important subject. Padraic Kenney has made a major contribution to our understanding of the social and political evolution of post-war east-central Europe." -Antony Polonsky, Brandeis University

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