The United States and Poland adds a new dimension to the scholarship of America’s international relations. Piotr Wandycz presents a comprehensive picture of the changing relationships between the United States and Poland over two hundred years.
This work is, as Wandycz writes, both a survey and a synthesis. Because he believes that an understanding of the history of Poland is necessary in order to appreciate the complex nature of its involvement with the United States, he provides a thorough analysis of Poland’s internal development, concentrating on the twentieth century. He also carefully places American–Polish history in the broader context of changing East–West relations. Finally, he speculates on the future between the two countries as detente unfolds and surprising happenings like the election of a Polish Pope occur.
Ultimately, Wandycz acknowledges, the American–Polish relationship has been one-sided, even more so than is normal in contacts between great and small powers. “One must not imagine,” he writes, “that Poland has been on the minds of American foreign policy makers consistently…but if one thinks of Poland in the context of East Central Europe, her significance increases dramatically.” This book provides a necessary history and evaluation of a nation state once dominant in Europe and now searching for an appropriate role.