The turbulent history of Poland has long attracted international interest. In this wide-ranging survey, Anita J. Prazmowska explores the story of Poland from early settlements, through to the emergence of the Kingdom of Poland, the loss of independence and its eventual re-acquisition after the First World War, and ends with an assessment of the present day state. A History of Poland is a lucid examination of the rise of a state which, throughout centuries, spanned the civilizations of the West and East. Prazmowska explains the roots of Polish Christianity and accounts for its tenacity. She also offers a bold analysis of the origins and background to the development of a deeply patriotic nation, discussing the political and cultural roots of Polish nationalism while at the same time demonstrating why the Polish Question has been an insoluble problem in European politics. Placing the complex history of Poland in the context of most major European events, this essential guide fully explains the country's place in European consciousness.