In This Review

The Church and the Left
The Church and the Left
By Adam Michnik
University of Chicago Press, 1993, 301 pp

In the mid-1970s Adam Michnik, the gritty intellectual star of the Polish democratic opposition, authored a short book exploring the twentieth-century estrangement between the Catholic Church--primarily its hierarchy--and the Polish left. By retelling the wrongs on both sides while stressing their natural common ground, he helped to fashion a reconciliation and alliance that contributed much to the overthrow of communism. Because the values of the organized church and of the noncommunist left maintain an uneasy relationship in the new Poland, the book has not lost its contemporary significance, as David Ost, the moving spirit behind its appearance in English, well appreciates. Michnik also provides probing, stimulating insights into the relationships between liberalism, secularism and Christianity.