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Book Talk. "Jozef Pilsudski: Founding Father of Modern Poland" by Joshua Zimmerman
Please join the East Central European Center at the Harriman Institute for a book talk with Joseph Zimmerman, author of Jozef Pilsudski: Founding Father of Modern Poland. Moderated by Mark Mazower, Professor of History and SNF Director of the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination.

This new biography is the story of the enigmatic Jozef Pilsudski, the founding father of modern Poland: a brilliant military leader and high-minded statesman who championed the independence of Ukraine and secretly proposed to France in 1933 a joint preventative war to remove Hitler from power. Pilsudski was a complicated figure. Passionately devoted to the idea of democracy, he ceded power on constitutional terms, only to retake it a few years later in a coup when he believed his opponents aimed to dismantle the democratic system. Joshua Zimmerman's authoritative biography examines a national hero in the thick of a changing Europe and the legacy that still divides supporters and detractors. The Poland that Pilsudski envisioned was modern, democratic, and pluralistic. In Zimmerman's telling, Pilsudski's faith in the young democracy was shattered after its first elected president was assassinated in 1922. Unnerved by Poles brutally turning on one another, the father of the nation came to doubt his fellow citizens' democratic commitments and thereby betrayed his own. It is a legacy that dogs today's Poland, caught on the tortured edge between self-government and authoritarianism.

Oct 6, 2022 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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