Seeing Through The Eyes Of The Polish Revolution : Solidarity And The Struggle Against Communism

904 WordsDec 8, 20154 Pages
Seeing Through the Eyes of the Polish Revolution: Solidarity and the Struggle against Communism in Poland, social scientist Jack M Bloom’s 2013 book, argues that the formation and history of Solidarność provides useful information on social processes in historical events and how those influence historical understanding. Like Ost, Bloom comes at his subject with an interest in social movements, but relies primarily on interviews to examine the social side of Solidarność’s formation. These subjects are not a random selection; Bloom purposefully interviewed activists, journalists, and military members among others. Unsurprisingly, this social science approach still discusses the political side of the movement, but Bloom focuses more on the people involved in Solidarność as opposed to the policies of the state. While Bloom’s analysis is more social and less historical, he touches on the topic of Solidarność’s ideological formation, a highly debated issue. Bloom states that some historians, like Ost, argue that workers formed the union on their own while others believe Polish intellectual activists from the 1970s dominated the formation. Bloom argues that the formation of Solidarność was actually through a combined effort of both workers and intellectuals. This challenges Ost’s assumption that the Polish trade union was forced to become political solely as a response to communist Poland. Interestingly, Bloom is the first author to give attention to Anna Walentynowicz, one of

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