The essays by Kevin Hannan in 'My Poland' represent an original, penetrating commentary on the realities of contemporary culture and society, as well as a remarkable presentation of the author's analysis of Polish history. Various topics are discussed, such as the definition of a nation in terms of national mentalities and stereotypes (and the inadequacies of such a definition). The author devotes considerable attention to the ethnolinguistic description of Poles and their neighbors. Attentively he documents the vicissitudes of Polishness across time and across the space of the borderlands, whether for Silesia (the home of certain of his ancestors) or the former eastern territories of Poland. He suggests that the reader consider Poland from a multidimensional perspective and in direct relation to the other Slavic and the other European nations. Also noteworthy is the author's contrast of the land of his ancestors with contemporary America and its deceptive multiculturalism. The essays are distinguished by an original cultural viewpoint which is untouched by any limitations which might arise from a shortsighted local perspective. The issues discussed are brought home to the reader through the personal, reflective tone of the language, which is natural and witty.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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