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  • Krzysztof Dubiel for the Polish Book Institute

Andrzej Nowak


­Born in 1960, Nowak is one of Poland’s most outstanding authorities on the political history of Central/Eastern Europe, a professor at the Jagiellonian University, a lecturer at universities in the United States and Great Britain, and the author of over thirty books.

He is primarily known as a world-class specialist on Russian history, an analyst on its relations with the West, a Sovietologist who is highly appreciated among the specialists, and an insightful interpreter of Russian culture and spirituality. His popular books are not academic dissertations, however, but compelling biographies of the participants in a major drama, in which political decisions deserve moral judgement; they can be read as studies of mass psychology and as historiosophical syntheses. He is gifted with literary talent, the erudition of a connoisseur, the inquisitiveness of a detective, the passion of a journalist, and the fire of a moralist, thus drawing the attention of not only professional historians, but also of cultural scholars, sociologists, political scientists and politicians. As a commentator on political life, Andrzej Nowak is a household name in Poland, but his work is also mentioned in the German and Russian press, it is present in English-language discussion, and stands as a contribution to the debate on the condition of Western culture in Europe and America.