This August, Ohio University Press published Between the Brown and the Red: Nationalism, Catholicism, and Communism in Twentieth-Century Poland by Mikolaj Stanislaw Kunicki (University of Notre Dame). The publisher’s description follows.
In this study of the relationship of nationalism, communism, authoritarianism, and religion in twentieth-century Poland, Mikołaj Kunicki shows how the country’s communist rulers tried to adapt communism to local traditions, particularly ethnocentric nationalism and Catholicism. Focusing on the political career of Bolesław Piasecki, a Polish nationalist politician who started his journey as a fascist before the war and ended it as a procommunist activist, Kunicki demonstrates that Polish Communists reinforced the ethnocentric self-definition of Polishness and—as Piasecki’s case proves—prolonged the existence of the nationalist Right.
Between the Brown and the Red captures the multifaceted nature of church-state relations in Communist Poland, relations that oscillated between mutual confrontation, accommodation, and dialogue rather than stagnating in a state of constant struggle. Contrary to assumptions, under Communism the bond between religion and nation in Poland grew stronger. Between the Brown and the Red also introduces to the reader one of the most fascinating figures in the history of twentieth-century Poland and the Communist world.