Archive for November, 2003

A Pole wins Nobel equivalent in humanities

Saturday, November 1st, 2003

Polish philosopher, Prof. Leszek Kolakowski has won the million dollar John W. Kluge award for his achievements in social sciences and humanities. This prize awarded by the Library of Congress of the United States is designed to reward work in disciplines not covered by the Nobel prizes, including history, religion, philosophy, politics, criticism in the arts and humanities and linguistics.
In announcing the award, Library of Congress Director, James Billington remarked:  “Very rarely can one identify a deep, reflective thinker who has had such a wide range of inquiry and demonstrable importance to major political events in his own time.  Out of deep scholarship and relentless inquiry, Leszek Kolakowski proofed intellectual bankruptcy of the Marxist ideology and the necessity of freedom, tolerance of diversity and the search for transcendence for reestablishing individual dignity.  His voice was fundamental for the fate of Poland, and influential in Europe as a whole. . . . Throughout his creative life he has asked big questions with the kind of intellectual honesty and depth that we have sought to honor with the John W. Kluge Prize.”
And how could one not be proud?

Stanislaw Kwiatkowski

Forum, 11/2003

A QUESTION of HONOR…

Saturday, November 1st, 2003

Lynne Olson and Stanley Cloud have written a remarkable work concerning Polish pilots in Britain’s Royal Air Force during World War II. A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron, Forgotten Heroes of World War II focuses on an important aspect of the relationship between Poland and the Allies all too often neglected. Olson and Cloud focus on the story of five Polish pilots flying for the RAF and Polish squadron 303 and their instrumental role in winning the Battle of Britain in 1940. They also tell the story of how the pilots, and Poland, were betrayed by their British allies after the war. The Polish pilots were not allowed to participate in the 1946 Victory Parade in London because British officials were afraid their presence would offend Stalin. Olson and Cloud use the story of this small group of men to tell the larger tale of how Britain and the United States betrayed their Polish ally in the negotiations for a post-World War II order. Along with the compelling individual stories of the pilots, A Question of Honor provides a solid history of Poland during the war. Olson and Cloud are known for their work as news correspondents during World War II, The Murrow Boys. A Question of Honor is fascinating reading for anyone interested in Poland and the war.

Sean Martin

Forum, 11/2003