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Konspira: Solidarity Underground
by Maciej Lopinski, Marcin Moskit, And Mariusz Wilk, Trans. By Jane Cave, Contrib. By Lawrence Weschler
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From Library Journal
In the dark days of December 1981, Polish journalists (some listed here under pseudonyms) began to tape interviews with seven prominent activists to "record" Solidarity's efforts to evade the authorities while establishing an underground movement. Interviews continued until spring 1984. While the original 1500 pages of transcript have been edited extensively, the journalists have added only minimal comments and explanations (in italic type); dates on the comments would have clarified the progress and changing fortunes of the underground. Disagreements among the Solidarity members emerge clearly, but so does the depth of commitment to their ideals. This collection adds to perspectives of the same period expressed in Jan Mur's A Prisoner of Martial Law: Poland ( LJ 11/1/84) and Lech Walesa's Way of Hope ( LJ 1/88). Despite last year's legalization of Solidarity, specialized collections should consider for purchase this record of a more embattled time.
- Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Konspira bares the soul and mind of Solidarity not long before the movement's stunning emergence as Poland's political vanguard. Written while martial law still gripped the country, Konspira tells the inside story of this inspiring contemporary workers' movement. The authors taped, then consolidated, over a hundred hours of secret interviews. Their subjects were eight of the most prominent Solidarity union leaders, gone into hiding as the result of a nationwide police-military crackdown by the Polish government.
Solidarity activists were either locked up in internment camps or forced underground, where they coordinated a clandestine network to sustain their organization. This compelling account of a crucial episode in the history of the Solidarity movement is both intimate and representative of the growing opposition to entrenched Communist regimes in East-Central Europe.
This volume has benefited from the collegial support of The Wake Forest University Studium.
Text: English, Polish (translation)
From the Inside Flap
"All the leaders interviewed represent the very top of Solidarity hierarchy while also coming from very different backgrounds . . . therefore their insights are invaluable. Their opinions strike the reader with their openness and sincerity. . . . Out of those interviews a complex, vivid, and sometimes sharply self-critical picture of Polish 'underground society' emerges."--Stanislaw Baranczak, Harvard University
"The questions posed to the Solidarity leaders are searching, incisive, designed to elicit as much information as possible, and the answers, in turn, are strikingly candid and illuminating. . . . The book is lively, colorful, and extremely readable."--Abraham Brumberg, Georgetown University
From the Back Cover
"All the leaders interviewed represent the very top of Solidarity hierarchy while also coming from very different backgrounds . . . therefore their insights are invaluable. Their opinions strike the reader with their openness and sincerity. . . . Out of those interviews a complex, vivid, and sometimes sharply self-critical picture of Polish 'underground society' emerges." (Stanislaw Baranczak, Harvard University)
About the Author
Maciej Lopinski, Marcin Moskit, and Mariusz Wilk are all Polish journalists, active in the city of Gdansk. Lopinski was arrested in December1982, together with Mariusz Wilk, on suspicion of "activity in a secret structure of the Solidarity trade union." Today Lopinski is editor in chief of the new Gdansk Weekly. Moskit, who wrote under a pseudonym, is now known to be Zbigniew Gach. He is a reporter for the Gdansk Weekly. Wilk was released from prison just before the amnesty of July 1983, and subsequently became involved in the "Movement of New Entrepreneurship" in Gdansk.
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