Sketches from a Secret War
A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine
Written by Timothy Snyder
The forgotten protagonist of this true account aspired to be a cubist painter in his native Kyiv. In a Europe remade by the First World War, his talents led him to different roles-intelligence operative, powerful statesman, underground activist, lifelong conspirator. Henryk Józewski directed Polish intelligence in Ukraine, governed the borderland region of Volhynia in the interwar years, worked in the anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet underground during the Second World War, and conspired against Poland's Stalinists until his arrest in 1953. His personal story, important in its own right, sheds new light on the foundations of Soviet power and on the ideals of those who resisted it. By following the arc of Józewski's life, this book demonstrates that his tolerant policies toward Ukrainians in Volhynia were part of Poland's plans to roll back the communist threat.
The book mines archival materials, many available only since the fall of communism, to rescue Józewski, his Polish milieu, and his Ukrainian dream from oblivion. An epilogue connects his legacy to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the democratic revolution in Ukraine in 2004.
"Timothy Snyder's Sketches from a Secret War achieves that rare balance between thorough scholarship and excellent writing: With the plot of a thriller, a hero out of a spy film and historical sources that have never been used before, Sketches is mandatory reading for anyone who cares about twentieth-century history."
~ Anne Applebaum
"[A] remarkable book. . . . This is a story of passion and intrigue, personal ambition and ideological struggles."
~ Omer Bartov, Times Literary Supplement
"[A] compact, well-told history."
~ Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
Timothy Snyder is professor of history at Yale University. He was awarded the American Historical Association's George Louise Beer Prize for his book The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999, published by Yale University Press.
Publishing House: Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2005
SoftCover book measuring 6.15" x 9.2" x 0.8"
English Language Version
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