Poland Looks Ahead

Memorization of places, dates, and names is like fool’s gold, someone once stated, because it is so easy to mistake them for the real thing: knowledge. Yet, when we study nations and cultures, we often commit exactly this mistake. A long list of kings and generals is supposed to provide us with thorough insight into […]

Living in Poland Today

Poland is not a small country, and, as in any sizable country, pronounced regional differences exist. The study of these spatial variations is what makes geographers ideal students of nations and cultures. Unlike other scientists, geographers identify the significance of a place or region as it relates spatially to a larger whole. This type of […]

Poland’s Economy

The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent changes that swept Eastern Europe were seen as a very positive transition for Poland. The country was in position to open its economic system and follow the rules of a market economy. Previously, it had labored under a politically manipulated, centrally planned economy. Poland […]

Poland: Government and Politics

After striving for many years to be in charge of their own affairs, Poles managed to topple the Soviet-­supported authoritarian regime that ruled the country for several decades. In theory, Poland was an independent country pursuing its own destiny. In reality, its political leadership received instructions from Moscow. Puppet regimes often face popular discontent, and […]

Poland: People and Culture

The chapter on the people of Poland and their culture (way of life) serves as the main focus in the review of this modern world nation. To this point, we have covered the physical landscapes and historical geography of Poland. Here, the emphasis is on what people are doing and why, as well as the […]

Poland Through Time

When describing the earliest history of particular countries, historians often have little to say because of the lack of documented historical evidence of names and dates. Most scholars prefer political history to cultural history in general, where they can discuss key leaders and events—­kings, wars, and dynasties, for example—­but pay little attention to the lives […]

Poland: Physical Landscapes

A country’s physical environment can offer opportunities and challenges to its people. Poland’s natural conditions are no exception. Nature provides the canvas upon which people paint their own unique cultural landscapes—­the human imprint on Earth’s surface. People are guided by their particular needs, as well as by the financial and technological resources they command. The […]

Introducing Poland

To celebrate their national identity, many people have myths that begin with the phrase, “When God was distributing the land, our people received. . . .” For the Poles, such a myth should begin “God awarded us with prime property in a bad neighborhood, located right between two neighboring bullies who constantly fight.” For a […]

The Future of Ireland

Each chapter of this geography of Ireland has told a story about Ireland’s physical, cultural, historical, economic, and political, geographies. Knowing more of Ireland through these stories may have changed some perceptions of the country while strengthening others.Visitors to Ireland would experience many of the stories told in this book and would also form new […]

Living in Ireland Today

Fadó, fadó, the Celts began the tradition of storytelling in Ireland. Storytelling today is just one aspect of Irish culture and daily life that is celebrated in annual festivals throughout the country. Irish festivals can last one or two days, or even a month. Among the most notable festivals are the storytelling festivals in the […]