Intermarium: The Land between the Black and Baltic Seas

Transaction Publishers
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History and collective memories influence a nation, its culture, and institutions; hence, its domestic politics and foreign policy. That is the case in the Intermarium, the land between the Baltic and Black Seas in Eastern Europe. The area is the last unabashed rampart of Western Civilization in the East, and a point of convergence of disparate cultures. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz focuses on the Intermarium for several reasons. Most importantly because, as the inheritor of the freedom and rights stemming from the legacy of the Polish-Lithuanian/Ruthenian Commonwealth, it is culturally and ideologically compatible with American national interests. It is also a gateway to both East and West. Since the Intermarium is the most stable part of the post-Soviet area, Chodakiewicz argues that the United States should focus on solidifying its influence there. The ongoing political and economic success of the Intermarium states under American sponsorship undermines the totalitarian enemies of freedom all over the world. As such, the area can act as a springboard to addressing the rest of the successor states, including those in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation. Intermarium has operated successfully for several centuries. It is the most inclusive political concept within the framework of the Commonwealth. By reintroducing the concept of the Intermarium into intellectual discourse the author highlights the autonomous and independent nature of the area. This is a brilliant and innovative addition to European Studies and World Culture.
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About the author

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz is professor of history and holds the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies at the Institute of World Politics. His writings have appeared in World Affairs, World Politics Review, and The American Spectator. In addition, he is the author or editor of numerous books, including Between Nazis and Soviets: Occupation Politics in Poland, 1939-1947; After the Holocaust: Polish-Jewish Conflict in the Wake of World War Two; and Poland's Transformation: A Work in Progress.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Transaction Publishers
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Published on
Nov 6, 2012
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Pages
568
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ISBN
9781412847865
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Eastern
History / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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While both Spain and Poland developed genteel cultures grounded in Catholic religion, and experienced periods of growth followed by long decline, it is also the case that large differences in political economy and military structures also existed. Thus while Spain merely declined in power, Poland was partitioned by three powerful and rapacious neighbors. The Catholic and conservative elements that have been strong in both Poland and Spain have often been portrayed as obscure nativist and racist and even fascist. The purpose of this volume is to move beyond the simplistic vision this created about both countries into a more balanced and careful appraisal of tradition and development.

Puncturing this stereotype, Eugene Genovese wryly notes that "as every schoolboy knows, Europe's Catholic Right has consisted of reactionaries who began in the service of residual feudal landowners and ended in support of big capital's exploitation and oppression of the masses. Still, the totalitarian horrors of the twentieth century proved prescient....the warnings of the Catholic traditionalist Right about the consequences of radical democracy and cultural nihilism. These splendid essays, as readable as they are scholarly, launch a long overdue assessment of vital political events."

Maraek Jan Chodakiewicz holds the Koscouszko chair in Polish Studies at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He is the author of, among other works, After the Holocaust: Polish-Jewish Conflict in the Wake of World War II and Between Nazis and Soviets: A Case Study of Occupation Politics in Politics, 1939-1947. John Radzilowski did his graduate studies at Arizona State University. He is author and editor of numerous works ranging from Polish to East European history.
Poland has carried out two peaceful revolutions in the span of one generation: first, the self-limiting movement of Solidarity, which undermined the legitimacy of Communism and then a negotiated transfer of power from Communism to free market democracy. Today, while Poland is seen as a success story and is joining political and economic associations in the democratic West, Poles themselves seem downcast. They ask: is social anomie a price worth paying for a successful transformation? In making moral compromises with an outgoing tyranny, can one avoid cynicism and disappointment with democracy?

Zbigniew Brzezinski, professor of American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University has called Polish Transformation "a work that provides a comprehensive as well as incisive overview of the extraordinary difficult and historically unprecedented process of transforming an increasingly corrupt and decayed totalitarian system into a modern democracy."

John Lenczowski, director of the Institute of World Politics, adds that "this extremely useful volume explains the essential elements of the post-communist political transition in Poland. Its authors convey...the cultural and ideological underpinnings that can be captured only by authorities who have developed over a lifetime that special sixth sense for detecting the elusive and unquantifiable soul of a country."

Radek Sikorski, the executive director of the New Atlantic Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute, writes that "we should be grateful to the authors and editors of this thoughtful volume for asking questions which remain relevant for that uncomfortably large part of humanity that still lives under totalitarian or authoritarian regimes."

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz holds the Kosciuszko chair in Polish Studies at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He is the author of After the Holocaust: Polish-Jewish Conflict in the Wake of World War II and Between Nazis and Soviets: A Case Study of Occupation Politics in Politics, 1939-1947. John Radzilowski is author and editor of numerous works ranging from Polish to East European history. Darius Tolczyk is associate professor of Slavic Languages at the University of Virginia. He is the author of See No Evil: Literary Cover-Ups and Discoveries of the Soviet Camp Experience.
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