From the Polish Underground: Selections from “Krytyka,” 1978–1993

by various authors


Essays from Penn State University Press
Translated from Polish

The twenty articles in this volume were chosen by Michael Bernhard, Henryk Szlajfer, and Jan Kofman, the present editor-in-chief of Krytyka. Covering the underground and post-underground years, they introduce the reader to the full range of topics and political views presented by the journal. Taken together these articles provide an excellent overview of the last fifteen turbulent years of Polish history.

SKU: 175 Category:


The Penn State University Press | paperback
ISBN: 978-0-271-02565-0 | 1995  | 500 pages

“This is a valuable book, necessary for the specialist on East and Central Europe and all who want to consider seriously the problem of democratic transition.”

Since it first appeared in 1978, the Polish quarterly Krytyka (Critique) has been a showcase for some of the best writing on politics, sociology, cultural criticism, economics, and history from Poland. Founded by a group of oppositional activists that included Adam Michnik and Jacek Kuron, the journal began as an underground outlet for critical political thinking in the period prior to Solidarity. It survived the communist crackdown on Solidarity in 1981 to become the leading source of democratic thought in the new Poland. Today Krytyka is published ”above ground” and continues to be the most consistent voice for a modern, democratic, and open Poland.

The contributors collected in this volume are Marek Beylin, Ryszard Bugaj, Anna Bojarska, Krzysztof Jasiewicz, Stanisław Krajewski, Marcin Kula, Jacek Kuroń, Joanna Kurczewska, Adam Michnik, Edmund Mokrzycki, Piotr Ogrodzińki, Jerzy Osiatyński, Jerzy Surdykowski, Andrzej Werner, Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Jan Winiecki, Krzysztof Wolicki, and Józef Życiński.

Editor Michael Bernhard is Professor of Political Science at Penn State University. He is the author of The Origins of Democratization in Poland: Workers, Intellectuals, and Oppositional Politics, 1976–1980 (1993) and co-translator of The Establishment of Communist Rule in Poland, 1943–1948 (1991).

Editor Henryk Szlajfer is an economist and sociologist and a researcher at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The author of a number of books and articles on comparative economic history, he is a professor at the G. C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany.

Translated by Maria Chmielewska-Szlajfer.

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