In This Review

Military Rule in Poland: The Rebuilding of Communist Power, 1981-1983
Military Rule in Poland: The Rebuilding of Communist Power, 1981-1983
By George Sanford
St. Martin's, 1986, 288 pp
Purchase

Given the known facts about the role of the armed forces and the convictions of General Jaruzelski, there should have been no surprise when the martial law blow fell on December 13, 1981. Sanford describes what happened and why and then goes on to show how, contrary to the hopes and expectations of many in Poland and the West, the new regime was able in the following year to crush Solidarity, neutralize the Catholic Church's efforts to mediate, and, eschewing a Bonapartist solution, rebuild a party-controlled system such as existed from 1956 to 1980. The success may not be so clear and firm as the author contends, but he has marshaled his facts and arguments very well in a coolly clinical and convincing analysis.