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Book Review

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By the turn of the 20th century, a significant wave of immigrants from Poland had fled their homeland as it marked over one hundred years under partition rule by the Austro-Hungarian, German and Russian empires. As they resettled in diaspora, including a significant number in the United States, they formed a significant base of political activity to influence other nations’ foreign policies In this scrupulously detailed work, M.B.B. Biskupski characterizes the activities by various civic associations of Polonia and their leaders to raise American consciousness, first for relief and military support of the war-ravaged lands of Poland and then for its return to independence. Two key lessons emerge: despite fragmented agendas and rivalries, Polonia achieved its common goal of Polish independence in part due to intentional leadership from the Polish community; despite the impact of the United States’ foreign policy contributions to this outcome, its lack of strong and consistent commitment to the cause meant that it was not quite the strong ally as some had perceived it, often frustrating the accomplishment of Polish goals.


Originally published in:

ROCZNIK PRZEMYSKI (ISSN 2449-7347) vol. 55, issue 3 (23) 2019