In This Review

KOR: A History of the Workers' Defense Committee in Poland, 1976-1981

KOR: A History of the Workers' Defense Committee in Poland, 1976-1981
By Jan Jósef Lipski
561 pp, University of California Press, 1985
Purchase

In a brilliant display of what he calls historical journalism, Lipski applies his professional historical method, and also draws on his own personal involvement, to produce an invaluable record of the activities of the organization of writers and intellectuals which had a unique role in expanding the areas of freedom in Gierek's Poland and preparing the way for Solidarity. He goes into great detail and furnishes extensive documentation on the purposes and work of KOR, its building of ties with workers, students, peasants and representatives of the church, and its relations with the regime, including violent encounters with the security apparatus. KOR dissolved itself in 1981, but its leaders such as Kuron, Michnik and Lipski himself remain active, and persecuted, in Poland.