Polish History & the Architecture of Memory

Polish architect Czeslaw Bielecki discusses his work and the Polish transition from Communism to democracy at the Library in March. This related reading list includes books about memory and architecture, as well as books about Polish history.

Monuments & Memorials | Polish History

Related event:
Polish architect Czeslaw Bielecki, March 4

Monuments & Memorials

Monuments: America's History in Art and Memory
By Judith Dupré
From the award-winning, bestselling author of Skyscrapers, Churches, and Bridges comes a visual history that serves as a tribute to classic American landmarks. Monuments features more than 200 duotone photographs, as well as fascinating stories, rare illustrations, candid interviews with artists and architects, and a unique chronology of milestones in the history of time and memory.

At Memory's Edge: After-Images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture
By James E. Young
Examining the works of a number of vanguard artists, including Art Spiegelman, Shimon Attie, and Rachel Whiteread, At Memory's Edge chronicles Holocaust projects and shows how the event is being remembered in the after-images of its history.

The World War II Memorial: A Grateful Nation Remembers
Edited by Douglas Brinkley
Published in conjunction with the dedication of this memorial, this book commemorates the everyday Americans who served in World War II. The memorial's architect and its sculptor provide insights into how it symbolizes the fortitude and perseverance of a generation, and the photographs present the memorial through all stages of construction.

Presidential Temples: How Memorials and Libraries Shape Public Memory
By Benjamin Hufbauer
This analysis examines how we commemorate past presidents with memorials and libraries. Case studies include the Lincoln Memorial, the Roosevelt Presidential Library, the Truman Library, the Johnson Library, and First Ladies' exhibit in the Smithsonian.

Up From Zero: Politics, Architecture, and the Rebuilding of New York
By Paul Goldberger
In Up from Zero, Paul Goldberger, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the inside story of the quest to rebuild one of the most important symbolic sites in the world, the sixteen acres where the towers of the former World Trade Center stood. A story of power, politics, architecture, community, and culture, Up from Zero takes us inside the controversial struggle to create and build one of the most challenging urban-design projects in history.

Polish History

A History of Poland book jacket

A History of Poland
By Anita J. Prazmowska
A History of Poland offers a wide-ranging, readable survey of the country's history, from early settlements, through the establishment of the Kingdom of Poland, to the Solidarity movement and the present day modern state. Presenting a bold analysis of the origins and background to the development of a deeply patriotic nation, the book looks at numerous controversial topics, such as the roots of Polish Christianity and the growth of anti-Semitism in the present day.

A Concise History of Poland
By Jerzy Lukowski and Hubert Zawadzki
The Concise History of Poland covers medieval times to the present. The authors describe how Polish society developed under foreign rule in the 19th century and how it was altered by and responded to 45 years of Communism, and developments since its collapse. Primarily a political outline of Poland's turbulent and complex past, it traces the process of its rise and fall from the middle ages, from a dynastic realm to a remarkable constitutional experiment in multinational, consensual politics, embracing much of Lithuania, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Solidarity's Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland
By Shana Penn
Shana Penn pieces together a decade of interviews with the women behind the Polish pro-democracy movement-women whose massive contributions were obscured by the more public successes of their male counterparts. Penn reveals the story of how these brave women ran Solidarity and the main opposition newspaper, "Tygodnik Mazowsze," while prominent men like Lech Walesa were underground or in jail during the 1980s martial law years. The same women then went on to play influential roles in post-Communist Poland.

Ghettostadt: Łódź and the Making of a Nazi City
By Gordon J. Horwitz
Under the Third Reich, Nazi Germany undertook an unprecedented effort to refashion the city of Łódź. Home to prewar Poland's second most populous Jewish community, this was to become a German city of enchantment--a modern, clean, and orderly showcase of urban planning and the arts. Central to the undertaking, however, was a crime of unparalleled dimension: the ghettoization, exploitation, and ultimate annihilation of the city's entire Jewish population.

The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland
By Geneviève Zubrzycki
In the summer and fall of 1998, ultranationalist Polish Catholics erected hundreds of crosses outside Auschwitz, setting off a fierce debate between Poles and Jews about the memory of the former death camp and the presence of Christian symbols in its vicinity. While this controversy had ramifications that extended well beyond Poland's borders, Genevieve Zubrzycki sees it as a particularly crucial moment in the development of post-Communist Poland's nationhood and its changing relationship to Catholicism.

Fear: Anti-Semitism In Poland After Auschwitz: An Essay In Historical Interpretation
By Jan T. Gross
From the author of the acclaimed Neighbors comes a startling look at a tragic mystery, one fully revealed in this book for the first time. Gross questions: Why, after millions of Jews perished in Poland during the Holocaust, did anti-Semitism on the part of everyday Poles increase after the war's end?

Communism and Its Collapse
By Stephen White
The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a turning point in the twentieth century. The revolutions that swept through the USSR and Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s marked another turning point. Communism and its Collapse surveys the course of Communism and addresses the many intriguing questions that the experience of Communism has generated. Focusing particularly on the USSR and Eastern Europe, this book examines the development of Communist rule in historical and analytical terms.

Eastern Europe 1939-2000
By Mark Pittaway
This book examines the post-war history of Eastern Europe from the perspective of social history. It examines the nature and impact of socialist dictatorships on life in the region, and reveals the extent to which phenomena that emerged during the dictatorships are shaping society in the region today. It also integrates research conducted in the archives opened in the last eleven years into a general history of the region.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.

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