The most recommended books about Warsaw

Who picked these books? Meet our 16 experts.

16 authors created a book list connected to Warsaw, and here are their favorite Warsaw books.
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Book cover of The Diary of Laura's Twin

Kathy Clark Author Of Ivan's Choice

From the list on youth during the Holocaust.

Who am I?

I am a child of Holocaust survivors. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I truly appreciated the horrendous circumstances that they lived through. But even more than their plight and will to survive, I was impressed with the heroism of the people willing to sacrifice their lives in order to help others. It is their story, above all else that I want to tell in my books.

Kathy's book list on youth during the Holocaust

Why did Kathy love this book?

This story effectively unites the present with the past. Two girls anticipate their Bat Mitzvah in very different circumstances. Laura learns to appreciate the freedoms she has to make her own choices through the past life of a girl the same age as her but facing severe limitations. It is a thought-provoking book for young teens.

By Kathy Kacer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Diary of Laura's Twin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Title: The Diary of Laura's Twin <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: KathyKacer <>Publisher: SecondStoryPress


Flights

By Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (translator),

Book cover of Flights

John Dalton Author Of Heaven Lake

From the list on that take you on extraordinary journeys.

Who am I?

I am the author of two novels, and I currently teach fiction writing in the MFA program at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. I’ve long been fascinated with journeys both real and literary. In the early 1990’s I lived in Taiwan and traveled across China—from Guangzhou to the far northwestern desert province of Xinjiang, an extraordinary journey that informed my first novel. 

John's book list on that take you on extraordinary journeys

Why did John love this book?

There are dozens of journeys contained within this unclassifiable work of fiction. With each episode or story or exploration, the reader begins to perceive how travel transforms and erases us, even as it shows us the true strangeness of the world. If that sounds vague, then I’d say that you don’t read Flights for its many stories, as you do for Tokarczuk’s quiet, steely, attuned prose and exhilarating ideas.  

By Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE
 
WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST FOR TRANSLATED LITERATURE

A visionary work of fiction by "A writer on the level of W. G. Sebald" (Annie Proulx)

"A magnificent writer." — Svetlana Alexievich, Nobel Prize-winning author of Secondhand Time

"A beautifully fragmented look at man's longing for permanence.... Ambitious and complex." — Washington Post

From the incomparably original Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, Flights interweaves reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration. Chopin's heart is carried back to Warsaw in…


The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman

By Andrzej Szczypiorski,

Book cover of The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman

Sharon Hart-Green Author Of Come Back for Me

From the list on Jewish survival under the Nazis.

Who am I?

I’ve always been drawn to stories about Jewish survival. My mother’s family were Yiddish-speaking Jews from Belarus, and as a child I was often asking questions about what their world was like before it was destroyed. I later studied at Brandeis University where I earned my doctorate in Hebrew and Yiddish Literature, and then taught Jewish Literature at the University of Toronto. When my novel Come Back for Me was published, it felt as though many of my lifelong passions had finally come together in one book. Yet I’m still asking questions. My second novel (almost completed!) continues my quest to further my knowledge of all that was lost.

Sharon's book list on Jewish survival under the Nazis

Why did Sharon love this book?

Despite the title, this is not so much a story of one woman, but a portrait of several individual Jews and Poles caught in the Nazi web during WWII. 

Each chapter is a finely drawn sketch of a single individual tested by fate and circumstance. The author captures how each of these characters responds to his or her plight in ways that are rarely predictable. I was particularly impressed by how the author displays a broad knowledge of national and political movements which he incorporates into the stories.

This provides a nuanced backdrop to the personal struggles experienced by each of his meticulously crafted characters.

By Andrzej Szczypiorski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Nazi-occupied Warsaw of 1943, Irma Seidenman, a young Jewish widow passes as the wife of a Polish officer, until an informer spots her and drags her off to the Gestapo to await her fate


The Spies of Warsaw

By Alan Furst,

Book cover of The Spies of Warsaw

Andrew Kaplan Author Of Blue Madagascar

From the list on spy thrillers that are about more than spies.

Who am I?

I never planned to be a spy thriller writer. One day an editor suggested I write genre fiction. “Pick a genre you read just for fun,” he said. For me, that was spy novels. I had some background (military intelligence, journalist in Europe, Africa, etc.) and John Le Carré had shown that spy novels could be serious fiction. An encounter in the Amazon jungle sparked my first spy thriller, Hour of the Assassins. Then came Scorpion, Homeland, and the rest. What’s the attraction? Intelligence agents lie better than most because their lives depend on it. But if you dig hard enough, you get small truths. Big ones too.

Andrew's book list on spy thrillers that are about more than spies

Why did Andrew love this book?

Reading a novel by Alan Furst is like seeing Casablanca for the first time, if it were written by Hemingway. There’s that same evocative atmosphere of people smoking cigarettes, having affairs, making sophisticated remarks, while looming over them is the war. Furst mines a narrow niche. All of his books are set in Europe either during World War Two or in the Thirties, with the war threatening. The protagonist here is Colonel Mercier, military attaché at the French embassy in Warsaw. Mercier must navigate the salons and alleyways of Warsaw against all manner of spies and German agents. The book is also an exploration of love in a desperate time through Mercier’s affair with the beautiful Anna, a Polish lawyer. It’s very good. Furst is always good. 

By Alan Furst,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Spies of Warsaw as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Autumn evening in 1937. A German engineer arrives at the Warsaw railway station. Tonight, he will be with his Polish mistress; tomorrow, at a workers' bar in the city's factory district, he will meet with the military attache from the French embassy. Information will be exchanged for money. So begins The Spies of Warsaw, with war coming to Europe, and French and German operatives locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, the new military attache, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn in to a world of abduction,…


Book cover of Does Conquest Pay? The Exploitation of Occupied Industrial Societies

Julian Spencer-Churchill (Schofield) Author Of Militarization and War

From Julian's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why did Julian love this book?

There is a widely held belief that modern educated populations of industrial countries are the most morally assertive societies. Consequently, unlike less democratic peoples, it is the conventional wisdom that these societies would be the least likely to acquiesce to being occupied by a foreign military.

Narratives of resistance and revolution pervade the popular media. Peter Liberman, in his book Does Conquest Pay?, refutes these incorrect sociological understandings of contemporary democracies, and in fact shows how easy it is in fact to occupy urban populations.

Despite the obvious humiliation and agony of contemplating being occupied by a foreign power, Liberman’s case studies of German conquest of France and Soviet occupation of select Warsaw Pact states, shows that contemporary societies are the easiest to occupy because of their actual social fragmentation. 

By Peter Liberman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Does Conquest Pay? The Exploitation of Occupied Industrial Societies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can foreign invaders successfully exploit industrial economies? Since control over economic resources is a key source of power, the answer affects the likelihood of aggression and how strenuously states should counter it. The resurgence of nationalism has led many policymakers and scholars to doubt that conquest still pays. But, until now, the "cumulativity" of industrial resources has never been subjected to systematic analysis. Does Conquest Pay? demonstrates that expansion can, in fact, provide rewards to aggressor nations. Peter Liberman argues that invaders can exploit industrial societies for short periods of time and can maintain control and economic performance over the…


Book cover of Modernity and the Holocaust

Jane Stork Author Of Breaking the Spell: My Life as a Rajneeshee and the Long Journey Back to Freedom

From the list on understanding the human condition.

Who am I?

I was born and raised in rural Western Australia, married young, traveled with my geologist husband in the Outback until our children were born, and was settling down to becoming a housewife and mother in a Perth suburb when an Indian guru crossed my path. In no time at all, I packed up my family and we moved to India. Four years later I followed my guru when he went to America, and four years after that, I found myself behind bars. Understanding what led me there, and facing the consequences, was to occupy me for many years to come. I continue to have a deep and abiding interest in what makes us tick and why we do the things we do.

Jane's book list on understanding the human condition

Why did Jane love this book?

This is a profound and disturbing work written after reading his wife’s account of how she, her mother and sister, all of Jewish origin, survived the Nazi/war years in Warsaw (Winter in the Morning by Janina Bauman (1986)). Bauman exposes the popular fallacy that the Holocaust was a singular event, an unfortunate tear in the fabric of civilization, demonstrating with devastating clarity that it was, in fact, a (logical) product of modernism: “Without modern civilization and its most central essential achievements, there would be no Holocaust”.

By Zygmunt Bauman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Modernity and the Holocaust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new afterword to this edition, "The Duty to Remember-But What?" tackles difficult issues of guilt and innocence on the individual and societal levels. Zygmunt Bauman explores the silences found in debates about the Holocaust, and asks what the historical facts of the Holocaust tell us about the hidden capacities of present-day life. He finds great danger in such phenomena as the seductiveness of martyrdom; going to extremes in the name of safety; the insidious effects of tragic memory; and efficient, "scientific" implementation of the death penalty. Bauman writes, "Once the problem of the guilt of the Holocaust perpetrators has…


The Silver Sword

By Ian Serraillier,

Book cover of The Silver Sword: A BBC Radio Full-Cast Dramatisation

David Long Author Of Survivors: Extraordinary Tales from the Wild and Beyond

From the list on adventure stories for young readers.

Who am I?

Although as an adult I very much prefer true-life adventures to fictional ones – it’s why I wrote Heroes and Rescue, as well as Survivors – many of the most enjoyable books I read as a child were fictional accounts of daring and danger, mostly if not entirely centred on children with whom I could identify. I found them inspiring and still do, and can’t help feeling that if after nearly 50 years I can still remember so many of the details – and, trust me, I really can - the authors of these five must really have known what they were up to. I really hope no one will be put off them because of their age because I feel they have genuinely stood the test of time.

David's book list on adventure stories for young readers

Why did David love this book?

Another real thriller that I still find exciting and completely compelling. After losing their parents in the chaos of war, three children are left alone to fend for themselves. While hiding from the Nazis amid the rubble of a ruined city, they meet a ragged orphan who shows them his ‘treasure,’ an old paperknife. Clearly the silver sword of the title, this was entrusted to him by an escaped prisoner of war but the children recognise it and realise the escapee must be their father. Taking the ‘sword’ as a message that he is alive, they set out to search for him. As a historian, I always try to smuggle education into my own books by disguising it as entertainment, and this book does that brilliantly.

By Ian Serraillier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Silver Sword as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A BBC radio full-cast dramatisation of Ian Serraillier's classic wartime story.

When the Germans march into Poland in 1941, the Balickis' happy family life is shattered. With their parents taken away by Nazis, Ruth, Edek and Bronia are forced to fend for themselves in the dangerous, war-ravaged city of Warsaw.

When Edek is captured too, the girls are desperate. Then they meet orphaned street urchin Jan, who carries with him a talisman of hope: a silver sword paperknife that they recognise as having belonged to their mother.

Realising that their parents may still be alive, Ruth and Bronia set off…


A Rich Brew

By Shachar M. Pinsker,

Book cover of A Rich Brew: How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture

Brian Cowan Author Of The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse

From the list on the history of coffee and coffeehouses.

Who am I?

I went to college in Portland, Oregon when the Pacific northwest’s coffee boom was just getting started. My love of coffee turned academic as I began to research and write what would turn out to be a prize-winning book on the early history of coffee and coffeehouses in Great Britain: The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse (2005). I’ve continued to publish articles on coffee history and the history of sociability ever since, and I regularly teach a research seminar on the history of coffee at McGill University. Now I serve as president of the board of directors for an international research group on the history of sociability.

Brian's book list on the history of coffee and coffeehouses

Why did Brian love this book?

Pinsker’s A Rich Brew combines Jewish history and the literary history of modernist fiction as a way of studying the social history of café culture in five cities with large Jewish populations: Odessa, Warsaw, Vienna, New York City, and Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Café culture from the mid-nineteenth until the mid-twentieth century was particularly associated with Jewry and with modernism. This book helps us understand why this elective affinity between Jews, modernism and coffee developed in the way in which it did. Discerning readers will also find references to loads of novels, stories, and journalism from the era that are worth reading in their own right.

By Shachar M. Pinsker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Rich Brew as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist, 2018 National Jewish Book Award for Modern Jewish Thought and Experience, presented by the Jewish Book Council
Winner, 2019 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award, in the Jewish Literature and Linguistics Category, given by the Association for Jewish Studies
A fascinating glimpse into the world of the coffeehouse and its role in shaping modern Jewish culture
Unlike the synagogue, the house of study, the community center, or the Jewish deli, the cafe is rarely considered a Jewish space. Yet, coffeehouses profoundly influenced the creation of modern Jewish culture from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. With roots stemming from the Ottoman Empire,…


Everything They Had

By David Halberstam, Glenn Stout (editor),

Book cover of Everything They Had: Sports Writing from David Halberstam

Ed Odeven Author Of Going 15 Rounds With Jerry Izenberg

From the list on American sports journalism.

Who am I?

As a sports reporter since 1990, my never-ending passion for reading and studying the best sports journalism is captured in these five books. The art of column writing, while capturing the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and the intricacies of every game under the sun, is celebrated in these books by David Halberstam, Paul Zimmerman, Red Smith, Dave Anderson, and Dave Kindred. My voracious reading of sports columns plus magazine profiles, online essays, and thousands of books, has given me a great appreciation for authors who capture the essence of competition and reveal the biggest and smallest examples of themes unique to teams and eras, iconoclasts and forgotten figures.

Ed's book list on American sports journalism

Why did Ed love this book?

David Halberstam, who died in an auto accident in 2007 while doing research for a book about the 1958 NFL championship game, wrote with clarity and perpetual curiosity about all sports. This posthumous anthology highlights his diverse mix of stories. For example, horse racing in Warsaw in the 1960s, American slugger Reggie Smith’s experience as a pro baseball player in Japan in the 1980s, a character study of NBA coaching great Pat Riley in the 1990s, fishing with pals in Argentina as a septuagenarian in the 21st century. And Halberstam’s probing search for the soul of sports is underlined in the “Anatomy of a Champion,” detailed reportage on American fencers and their quest for Olympic glory. This book's mesmerizing range of sporting topics and the author's incredible eye for details captured my attention from start to finish.

By David Halberstam, Glenn Stout (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everything They Had as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Sometimes sports mirrors society, sometimes it allows us to understand the larger society a little better. But mostly, it is a world of entertainment of talented and driven young men and women who do certain things with both skill and passion."--David Halberstam David Halberstam was a distinguished journalist and historian of American politics. He was also a sports writer. Everything They Had brings together for the first time his articles from newspapers and magazines, a wide-ranging collection edited by Glenn Stout, selected over the full scope of Halberstam's five decades as one of America's most honored journalists. These are dazzling…


The Cats in Krasinski Square

By Karen Hesse, Wendy Watson (illustrator),

Book cover of The Cats in Krasinski Square

Charlotte Herman Author Of My Chocolate Year: A Novel with 12 Recipes

From the list on for children on WW2 at home and across the ocean.

Who am I?

I grew up on Chicago’s home front during WW2. President Roosevelt wanted everyone—adults and children—to do their part for the war effort. So we neighborhood kids formed a Victory club, where we marched around singing, “Let’s Remember Pearl Harbor,” and other patriotic songs. And though we had fun, we understood the meaning of the gold stars in the windows, and knew that terrible things were happening on the other side of the world. There are so many wonderful books set during this time period, and I can never read enough of them. These books, along with my memories, are what inspire me to write historical fiction of my own.

Charlotte's book list on for children on WW2 at home and across the ocean

Why did Charlotte love this book?

It would be hard to find a better, more beautiful picture book to introduce young children to the Holocaust. The lyrical prose and haunting illustrations tell the story of a young Jewish girl and her older sister who have escaped the ghetto and live as non-Jewish Poles. Now they’re part of the resistance and devise ways to smuggle food into the ghetto. The latest plan involves a train carrying resistance members with suitcases filled with food to be smuggled in. But word comes that the Gestapo has learned of the plan and is waiting at the station with their dogs. The girl and her sister, along with their friends, quickly gather up the many cats in Krasinski Square and let them loose just as the passengers pour out of the train. Chaos erupts. Dogs chase the cats, the soldiers chase the dogs, and the smuggled food reaches the ghetto walls.…

By Karen Hesse, Wendy Watson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cats in Krasinski Square as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Newbery medalist Karen Hesse tells a harrowing, true story about life in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII.

When Karen Hesse came upon a short article about cats out-foxing the Gestapo at the train station in Warsaw during WWII, she couldn't get the story out of her mind. The result is this stirring account of a Jewish girl's involvement in the Resistance. At once terrifying and soulful, this fictional account, borne of meticulous research, is a testament to history and to our passionate will to survive, as only Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse can write it.


From the Realm of a Dying Sun

By Douglas E. Nash, Sr.,

Book cover of From the Realm of a Dying Sun: IV. SS-Panzerkorps and the Battles for Warsaw, July-November 1944

Arthur W. Gullachsen Author Of Bloody Verrières: The I. SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrières-Bourguebus Ridges: Volume II: The Defeat of Operation Spring and the Battles of Tilly-la-Campagne, 23 July–5 August 1944

From the list on the First and Second World Wars.

Who am I?

I have a lifetime interest in military events of the First and Second World Wars, and my current status as an Associate Professor teaching military history within the Royal Military College of Canada’s RMC History Department allows me to live my dream of exploring past conflicts for a living. I am currently also a contracted author at Casemate Publishing of Havertown, PA, and I am very lucky to have this company support me and publish my work.

Arthur's book list on the First and Second World Wars

Why did Arthur love this book?

This book is an excellent summary of the WWII Eastern Front battles from July to November 1944 near Warsaw, Poland, through the lens of the Germans defending the front there, specifically the IV. SS-Panzerkorps, an armored (tank) corps consisting of two Waffen-SS Panzer Divisions (The Waffen-SS being the military arm of the Nazi Party in wartime Germany).

Author Douglas E. Nash’s analysis is excellent, and his experience as a retired US Army armored officer allows him to provides insights few others can regarding Eastern Front combat in 1944.

On top of this, his German language skills allowed him to carry out a higher degree of historical research than other books on the Eastern Front, utilizing primary German wartime documents to delve into events.

This book provides the reader with a clear understanding of how the June 1944 Russian Operation Bagration offensive was stopped by desperately fighting German units attempting to…

By Douglas E. Nash, Sr.,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From the Realm of a Dying Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During World War Two, the armed or Waffen-SS branch of the Third Reich's dreaded security service expanded from two divisions in 1940 to 38 divisions by the end of the war, eventually growing to a force of over 900,000 men until Germany's defeat in May 1945. Not satisfied with allowing his nascent force to be commanded in combat by army headquarters of the Wehrmacht, Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS, began to create his own SS corps and army headquarters beginning with the SS-Panzerkorps in July 1942. As the number of Waffen-SS divisions increased, so did the number of corps…


The Pianist

By Wladyslaw Szpilman, Anthea Bell (translator),

Book cover of The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945

Carly Schabowski Author Of All the Courage We Have Found

From the list on WWII that shed light on Polish history.

Who am I?

My passion for writing historical fiction set mainly in Poland, or including Polish protagonists is born from my own familial history. My grandfather was forced into the Wehrmacht as a young man, who managed to escape to the UK and join the Polish Army in exile, eventually going back to fight against the Germans. His story set me on a course to become a historical fiction author; reimagining the past and bringing little-known stories to a wider audience. I find that the best way to gain a basic understanding of Polish life during WWII is to read widely – try historical accounts, memoirs, second-hand accounts, and of course, historical fiction. 

Carly's book list on WWII that shed light on Polish history

Why did Carly love this book?

Yes! We all saw the movie, but did you know that it began as a memoir written by Szpilman to document his life during WWII? If you didn’t, pick up this book. You will be there, by Szpilman’s side as he fights for survival, and his first-person narrative allows us to see the ghetto and Poland through his eyes. 

By Wladyslaw Szpilman, Anthea Bell (translator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Pianist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The powerful and bestselling memoir of a young Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw against all odds. Made into a Bafta and Oscar-winning film.

'You can learn more about human nature from this brief account of the survival of one man throughout the war years in the devastated city of Warsaw than from several volumes of the average encyclopaedia' Independent on Sunday

'We are drawn in to share his surprise and then disbelief at the horrifying progress of events, all conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close - riveting' Observer

'A book so…


Mila 18

By Leon Uris,

Book cover of Mila 18

Walt Gragg Author Of The Red Line

From the list on oldie, but goldie, books of the past century.

Who am I?

I have a keen interest in history. I have been fortunate enough to have lived a life filled with wide-ranging experiences. I have lived in the smallest of towns and the largest of cities. At one time or another, I have called eight different states, Europe, and Asia home. As an Army veteran, I am driven to work on stories based on my own experiences and observations of the world we live in. It’s that insight that I hope comes across vividly in The Red Line.

Walt's book list on oldie, but goldie, books of the past century

Why did Walt love this book?

Although not mentioned as often as some of his other masterpieces, in Mila 18 Uris spins an unforgettable tale that deftly combines fiction and nonfiction in a way few authors have been able to match. It is a truly unforgettable rendering of the events involved in the 1943 uprising against the Nazis in the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw. Like the other four I am recommending, this book was one that truly touched my soul. Mila 18 provides incredible insight into people’s determination to stand up against their fates in even the direst of circumstances. It is well worth the read.

By Leon Uris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mila 18 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the brilliant storyteller who gave us Exodus, QB VII, The Haj, and Mitla Pass

It was a time of crisis, a time of tragedy—and a time of transcendent courage and determination.  Leon Uris's blazing novel is set in the midst of the ghetto uprising that defied Nazi tyranny, as the Jews of Warsaw boldly met Wehrmacht tanks with homemade weapons and bare fists. Here, painted on a canvas as broad as its subject matter, is the compelling of one of the most heroic struggles of modern times.

“Not only authentic as history . . . it is convincing as…


Empowering Revolution

By Gregory F. Domber,

Book cover of Empowering Revolution: America, Poland, and the End of the Cold War

Sarah B. Snyder Author Of Human Rights Activism and the End of the Cold War: A Transnational History of the Helsinki Network

From the list on the end of the Cold War.

Who am I?

I have been fascinated by Russian history and American-Soviet relations since high school. Now at American University’s School of International Service, I teach courses on the history of U.S. foreign relations, the Cold War, as well as human rights and U.S. foreign policy. I have written two books on the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, including Human Rights Activism and the End of the Cold War: A Transnational History of the Helsinki Network and From Selma to Moscow: How U.S. Human Rights Activists Transformed U.S. Foreign Policy. When I’m not working, I love a good Cold War TV series (Deutschland 83 or The Americans).

Sarah's book list on the end of the Cold War

Why did Sarah love this book?

Domber details how Americans aided and supported the Polish trade union movement Solidarity in the 1980s and the ways U.S. assistance was effective in aiding Poland’s democratic transition. Importantly, in Domber’s account, it was the Polish opposition, leading by moral example, who became heroes to Americans inside and outside the government, and American officials in Washington and Warsaw who looked to Solidarity for guidance on U.S. policy rather than the reverse.

By Gregory F. Domber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Empowering Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the most populous country in Eastern Europe as well as the birthplace of the largest anticommunist dissident movement, Poland is crucial in understanding the end of the Cold War. During the 1980s, both the United States and the Soviet Union vied for influence over Poland's politically tumultuous steps toward democratic revolution. In this groundbreaking history, Gregory F. Domber examines American policy toward Poland and its promotion of moderate voices within the opposition, while simultaneously addressing the Soviet and European influences on Poland's revolution in 1989. With a cast including Reagan, Gorbachev, and Pope John Paul II, Domber charts American…