The most comprehensive survey of Polish history available in English, God's Playground demonstrates Poland's importance in European history from medieval times to the present. Abandoning the traditional nationalist approach to Polish history, Norman Davies instead stresses the country's rich multinational heritage and places the development of the Jewish German, Ukrainian,…
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1 author picked God's Playground as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
This is a provocative book. Its very title suggests how difficult it is to understand Polish history than other that a divine joke. Yet his scholarship is excellent and his insights enlightening.
This is especially true for the first volume, which deals with the emergence of the Polish kingdom from rude barbarism to a political and cultural force so powerful that, after its union with Lithuania, dominated East Central Europe for generations. The total collapse of the kingdom in the 18th century—largely to defects in the constitution that allowed foreign interference in the election of the king—has blinded us to…
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