Monograph

Jan Karski (2014)

The Great Powers and Poland: From Versailles to Yalta

Publishing house Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Place of publication Lanham, MD
Page references 540
Series Anniversary Edition
Language English

ISBN: 978-1-4422-2664-7

This definitive study provides a comprehensive diplomatic history of Poland during the most seminal period in its existence, when its destiny lay in the hands of France, Great Britain, and the United States. Although sovereign in principle, Poland was little more than an object of the Great Powers' politics and rapidly changing relationships from the end of WWI to the end of WWII. Focusing on the shifting policies of the Great Powers toward Poland from the Treaty of Versailles to Yalta, the book ends with Poland's tragic abandonment by the West into the hands of the Soviet Union. Enriched by unique anecdotal and archival material, this book will be essential reading for all those seeking to understand Poland's role in twentieth-century history.

(from publisher's website)


The Great Powers and Poland: from Versailles to Yalta – Karski's scholarly study examining Poland's precarious geopolitical position between 1918 and 1948 – was released in January 2014 in a new anniversary edition by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Oiginally published in 1985 by University Press of America, Karski's second book provides a comprehensive examination of the role played by Germany, Great Britain, France, the United States and Soviet Union in shaping the fate of Poland after the country regained its sovereignty in 1918. The book focuses on the shifting policies of "the Great Powers" toward Poland from the Treaty of Versailles to Yalta, and ends with Poland's brutal subjection to communist rule in the aftermath of World War II. Karski's research and his in-depth analysis are richly supplemented with archival material and interesting anecdotes. The Great Powers and Poland offers readers a new understanding of Poland's predicament – a fate resting largely in the hands of negligent allies and rapacious neighbors – and its place on the world's political map of the twentieth century. For the many readers fascinated by Karski's wartime memoir, Story of a Secret State, it offers a complementing, yet accessible and compelling historical context.

(from Jan Karski Educational Foundation's website)

  • The Great Powers and Poland: From Versailles to Yalta

    Reviewed by Dr. Zaur Gasimov