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Journal of Women's History 13.1 (2001) 196-206



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Book Review

Women in Poland:
Society, Education, Politics, and Culture

Basia A. Nowak


Anna Zarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc. Kobieta i spoleczenstwo: Na ziemiach polskich w XIX wieku (Woman and society: In the Polish lands in the nineteenth century), vol. 1 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo DiG, Instytut Historyczny Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 1995). 189 pp. ISBN 83-85490-40-X (pb).

Anna Zarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc. Kobieta i edukacja: Na ziemiach polskich w XIX i XX wieku (Woman and education: In the Polish lands in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries), vol. 2, bk. 1 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo DiG, Instytut Historyczny Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 1995). 200 pp. ISBN 83-85490-41-8 (pb).

Anna Zarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc. Kobieta i edukacja: Na ziemiach polskich w XIX i XX wieku (Woman and education: In the Polish lands in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries), vol. 2, bk. 2 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo DiG, Instytut Historyczny Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 1995). 260 pp. ISBN 83-85490-42-6 (pb).

Anna Zarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc. Kobieta i swiat polityki: Polska na tle porównawczym w XIX i w poczatkach XX wieku (Woman and the political world: Poland in comparison in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries), vol. 3, bk. 1 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo DiG, Instytut Historyczny Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 1994). 357 pp. ISBN 83-85490-24-8 (pb).

Anna Zarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc. Kobieta i swiat polityki: W niepodleglej Polsce, 1918-1939 (Woman and the political world: In independent Poland, 1918-1939), vol. 3, bk. 2 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Sejmowe, 1996). 232 pp.; tables. ISBN 83-7059-243-0 (pb).

Anna Zarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc. Kobieta i kultura: Kobiety wsród twórców kultury intelektualnej i artystycznej w dobie rozbiorów i w niepodleglym panstwie polskim (Woman and culture: Women among intellectuals and artists in the era of the partitions and independent Poland), vol. 4 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo DiG, 1996). 315 pp.; ill. ISBN 83-85490-69-8 (pb).

Anna Zarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc. Kobieta i kultura zycia codziennego, wiek XIX i XX (Woman and everyday culture, nineteenth and twentieth centuries), vol. 5 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo DiG, 1997). 454 pp.; ill. ISBN 83-85490-94-9 (pb). [End Page 196]

Most recent studies of Eastern European women have focused primarily on the effects of the transformation to the postcommunist period on women's political, economic, and personal lives rather than on the history of these women. Anna Zarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc, two Polish historians, however, move away from this trend in this extensive series on Polish women's history. Together, they have created a pioneering work in the field by compiling previously unpublished material most of which to date had not been explored.

They put together a useful and informative collection of over one hundred essays by eighty-four scholars, mostly from Polish academic institutions, predominantly about the history of Polish women. Most essays were first presented at a series of conferences held at the University of Warsaw. The five-volume, seven-book series explores a wide range of topics, centering on women's roles in society, politics, education, culture, and everyday life, and authors pay close attention to religious, social status, and regional differences. Additional seminars and volumes are planned to cover women and work, women and leisure, and gender and sexuality. Although the essays concentrate on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a few contributors delve into the eighteenth century as well as the post-World War II communist era.

Most essays focus on a specific topic--women in the Polish lands--yet the editors discern the necessity of studying not only similarities among these women but also differences that set them apart. Consequently, numerous contributors investigate women of a specific region or city, religious affiliation, social status, and educational level, or, more typically, some combination of a number of these characteristics, rather than present a general overview of Polish women or a broad comparative analysis of their subjects. During the era of the partitions from the late eighteenth century until 1918, the Polish lands were under the control of three foreign powers--Austria, Russia, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 196-206
Launched on MUSE
2001-04-01
Open Access
No
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