In This Review

Ideology in A Socialist State: Poland, 1956-1983
Ideology in A Socialist State: Poland, 1956-1983
By Ray Taras
Cambridge University Press, 1984, 336 pp

The Polish road to socialism, seen through the lens of official ideology as it has been expounded by Communist Party leaders over the years since Gomulka came to power. The key concept is "operative ideology," the guidelines by which the permanent principles of Marxism-Leninism have been translated into policy. It is a carefully constructed, sometimes esoteric study, illustrative of the party's dilemmas and failures as well as its successful tactics and the rationale for its hold on power. But the concentration on ideology often does seem to take the reader far afield from the real substance of Polish life and politics.