Monday, February 9, 2015

God's Playground ~ A History of Poland

Poland, where East Meets West

I think that Poland is truly the place where east meets west. Why? Because, we can find different world views meeting in a geographical location that means 'local' as in "I am from here, this place". In all my time spent there, I can tell you that it is true. For me the experience can only being compared to meeting a nearly utopian multicultural community; but only on the local level. Having conducted research on this very idea 'Localness', I learned that differences don't matter as much to people who live together in a place sharing in the same local experience ~ place.  Because of that, for me, everything east of Warsaw in Poland exists as a kind of supernatural experiment.
Norman Davis, wrote the book "God's Playground, a History of Poland", to provide a comprehensive survey of Polish history and to show 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, and Lithuanian communities firmly within the Polish context. Davies emphasizes the cultural history of Poland through a presentation of extensive poetical, literary, and documentary texts in English translation. The chronological chapters of political narrative are interspersed with essays on religious, social, economic, constitutional, philosophical, and diplomatic themes.
Would Davis write the same looking at Poland today? As a sociologist, I would. 

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