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- Okruchy z okrągłego stołu / Recenzje -

 Rocznicowo...Tak, ponownie przypominam zapis polskiej transformacji... Starałam się unikać ocen. Rejestrowałam i dokumentowałam codzienność...To już historia...

Some observations taken from notes made at publication and delivered at the Sikorski Institute, London.
On re-readings these journalistic impressions / think pieces and my attendant notes it is salutary how the richness of subjects dealt with, the individuals painted in their full colour and those processes picked up on, have not lost their vividness. This is a sure sign of a talented journalist, one whose writing barely ages and whose insights bear repetition. If for no other reason this collection warrants publication.
> There is a feel in these brief chapters taken from the time after 1989 and before 1996, for the richness of change in a society on the cusp of transformation. Parents and families, political parties, presidents, the scouting movement , border societies, disability, return from “exile” and the whole gamut of what life was like in microcosm and how things had changed albeit on the surface at least. There is sociological sensitivity in the observations such as on the role of border communities as advance warning systems of possible conflicts The restaurant chapter (p.137) is a good example understated yet accurate portrayal, where none of the category of customers who seek to be served can deal with the habits of old service within the new setting- depressing it must have been for those looking for a new beginning , but much also has changed. Those who witnessed these transformations can certainly be served with reminders of what life was like in the flux of uncertainty and rarely is the reader in doubt as to the authenticity of the portraits presented. This particularly so since most of the pieces are local level reportage of everyday events and issues and even the elites picked are somehow brought down to earth. For an “elite led revolution” such grass levels perspectives are invaluable.Those who have grown up in the new Poland may see some of the scenes as surreal but all the more so it will help them to grasp the essential nature of what was left behind and what was in statu nascendi in the nineties.
> Mickiewicz is ostensibly writing about political, economic and socio-cultural events but in reality she is seeking to touch the nerve-endings of transformation, to bring out that which is recognizable in all societies undergoing fundamental re-structuring. The Ken Kesey quote how Poland’s greyness is somehow more believable than the glitter of Las Vegas is just such a poignant remark! The big problems of family integration which troubled the policy makers after 1989 are still there although it is rampant consumerism rather than communist politics which leads to social dissolution. Other observations such as those dealing with Entrepreneurship Incubators are relevant and again accurately analyzed as this reviewer can attest.
All in all this collection has stood the test of time and where it is dated then it serves a purpose as much where the issues are extant and indeed timeless.
George Kolankiewicz
Emeritus Professor