Diary 1954

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Northwestern University Press, Mar 31, 2014 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages

Leopold Tyrmand, a Polish Jew who survived World War II by working in Germany under a false identity, would go on to live and write under Poland’s Communist regime for twenty years before emigrating to the West, where he continued to express his deeply felt anti-Communist views. Diary 1954—written after the independent weekly paper that employed him was closed for refusing to mourn Stalin’s death—is an account of daily life in Communist Poland. Like Czesław Miłosz, Václav Havel, and other dissidents who described the absurdities of Soviet-backed regimes, Tyrmand exposes the lies—big and small—that the regimes employed to stay in power. Witty and insightful, Tyrmand’s diary is the chronicle of a man who uses seemingly minor modes of resistance—as a provocative journalist, a Warsaw intellectual, the "spiritual father" of Polish hipsters, and a promoter of jazz in Poland—to maintain his freedom of thought.


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About the author (2014)

Leopold Tyrmand (1920–1985) published his diary, books of fiction, journal articles, and essays on music in Poland. In 1966 he left Poland for the United States, where he wrote articles for the New Yorker, the New York Times,Commentary, and the American Scholar. Later, he cofounded Chronicles of Culture, now Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

Anita Shelton is a professor of history at Eastern Illinois University.

Andrzej Wrobel has been a senior research fellow at the London School of Economics and at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

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