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Solidarity’s Secret

2005-06-06 11:13:56 / News read 2548 reading
Solidarity's Secret is the first book to record the crucial yet little-known role women played in the rise of an independent press in Poland and in the fall of that country's communist government.

Shana Penn pieces together a decade of interviews with the women behind the Polish pro-democracy movement - women whose massive contributions were obscured by the more public successes of their male counterparts.

Penn reveals the story of how these brave women ran Solidarity and the main opposition newspaper, Tygodnik Mazowsze, while prominent men like Lech Walesa were underground or in jail during the 1980s martial law years. The same women then went on to play influential roles in post-communist Poland.

Solidarity's Secret gives us a richly detailed story-within-a-story -- unheard of not only in the West, but until recently even within Poland itself -- from one of the most important eras in modern history.

Shana Penn is an Open Society Institute fellow and visiting scholar at Mills College's Women's Leadership Institute. She directs the Jewish Heritage Initiative in Poland, a philanthropic program of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, based in San Francisco.

: www.press.umich.edu
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