Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist?s Mission To Liberate Soviet Ukraine

Paperback | October 10, 2007

byTimothy Snyder

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The forgotten protagonist of this true account aspired to be a cubist painter in his native Kyïv. In a Europe remade by the First World War, his talents led him to different roles—intelligence operative, powerful statesman, underground activist, lifelong conspirator. Henryk Józewski directed Polish intelligence in Ukraine, governed the borderland region of Volhynia in the interwar years, worked in the anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet underground during the Second World War, and conspired against Poland’s Stalinists until his arrest in 1953. His personal story, important in its own right, sheds new light on the foundations of Soviet power and on the ideals of those who resisted it. By following the arc of Józewski’s life, this book demonstrates that his tolerant policies toward Ukrainians in Volhynia were part of Poland’s plans to roll back the communist threat.

The book mines archival materials, many available only since the fall of communism, to rescue Józewski, his Polish milieu, and his Ukrainian dream from oblivion. An epilogue connects his legacy to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the democratic revolution in Ukraine in 2004.

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The forgotten protagonist of this true account aspired to be a cubist painter in his native Kyïv. In a Europe remade by the First World War, his talents led him to different roles—intelligence operative, powerful statesman, underground activist, lifelong conspirator. Henryk Józewski directed Polish intelligence in Ukraine, governed the...

Timothy Snyder is professor of history at Yale University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:October 10, 2007Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300125992

ISBN - 13:9780300125993

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"The broad interests and talents both of the book's subject and of its author result in a rich slice of Polish history and culture from approximately 1918 to 1956. Timothy Snyder skillfully weaves the artistic and intellectual life of Poland in those years together with Polish eastern policy, Ukrainian political desires, Stalin's domestic agenda, and international relations. The book is well-researched and eloquently written."—Katherine R. Jolluck, Journal of Modern History