A Suburb of Europe: Nineteenth-century Polish Approaches to Western Civilization

  • ISBN: 9789639116269
  • Autor: Jedlicki Jerzy
  • Availability: Out of stock
  • Publisher: Central European University Press
  • Published: 1998-12-01
    Pages: 400
    Format: 158 x 229 mm

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"In this superbly written book, Jerzy Jedlicki presents the reader with a contribution to the increasingly rich literature devoted to the "intelligentsia". A Suburb of Europe, however, does not so much deal with the now all-too-familiar issues of social origin and political influence as it does with intellectual history. The author chooses as his theme the manner in which Polish intellectuals of all political stripes reacted to the twin issues of west-European style liberal progress and industrial civilization. In their attempts at understanding the changes being brought about across all of Europe by the rapidly advancing western economic systems of the post-Enlightenment period, and at finding a place for Poland in this emerging new world, these intellectuals often developed a critique of the west and constructed variegated images of a future world. Jedlicki attempts to put these thinkers and their ideas into the proper historical context and to map out for the reader an axiological grid, locating each thinker according to the manner of his critique of the west and attitude toward what we must call "modernization". This book is the English language version of a longer Polish edition first published in 1988. Jedlicki's preface is a model of what a preface ought to be: a clear, concise introduction to the subject and outline of the structure of the book. The prose is to the point and is as eminently understandable for the educated reader not conversant with Polish history as it is illuminating to the specialist...As a contribution to Polish intellectual and social history, this work may well be the single best published in English in the past decade. It is thoughtful, erudite, andconvincing. The writing is lively and clear. All serious students of Poland, of modernization, and of the nature of capitalism and how it interacts with poor, peripheral, agricultural societies must read this book." Peter Wozniak, H-NET Book Review

"This is a brilliant example of intellectual history, but it is one whose importance far transcends the period on which it focuses. In important ways, in the post-communist 'transition' of the 1990s, the issues of the 19th century are profoundly relevant to the beginnings of the 21st. Moreover, Jedlicki's book raises issues and examines positions that were and are not unique to Poland, but that every society faces as it confronts social change." Choice

"A Suburb of Europe is an excellent volume about philosophy, political economy, the creation of nationalism, and a host of other subjects. It is an enlightening and engrossing read. Anyone with an interest in Poland and East Central Europe will find this an invaluable and enjoyable book." Daniel Pinkerton, Austrian Studies Newsletter