Leopolis Press was created in February, 2000 by Adam B. Ulam, Gurney Professor of History and Political Science, and Director of the Russian Research Center, at Harvard, during his final illness, in order to publish his last and 20th book, Understanding the Cold War: A Historian's Personal Reflections. Leopolis means "Lion City" and was the medieval Latin name for Lwów, the Polish city where he was born and lived for seventeen years. It had the lion as its emblem.
Leopolis Press published a remarkable book in the spring of 2002. Through a chain of connections reaching back to Adam Ulam's childhood in Lwów, an extraordinary manuscript came to light. Titled Life Death Memories, it is the memoir of a Jewish boy, Thomas T. Hecht, who grew up in a shtetl in southeastern Poland, in a culture that World War II obliterated.
In late 2002, Leopolis Press began a collaboration with the Kosciuszko Chair at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, the University of Virginia, to publish a collection of scholarly papers on the transition of Poland to a contemporary European democracy. For this project, Poland's Transformation, Leopolis Press provided its editorial, book design and production capabilities; and the Kosciuszko Chair furnished the text and the basic plan of the book.
There followed Spanish Carlism and Polish Nationalism: The Borderlands of Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries, and House with Wisteria: Memoirs of Halide Edib.
Part One: Farewell to Poland
The Ulams' Lwów
The Last Summer
Pre-War Poland: An Assessment
Part Two: A Polish Youth in a New Land
The New Country; A New Life
A Fugitive Stays with Jozef Ulam: George Volsky's Tale
Echoes of the Holocaust
Part Three: The Professor
Early Harvard Years
A Young Instructor
Implications of the Cold war
On Being an "Expert"
Turbulent Foreign Relations
The Fall of the American University
The Tyrant's Shadow
The Surprising 70s
Mystery Novels & The Kirov Affair
The Curse of the Bomb
Back to the Past with Revolutionary Fervor
The Communist World
Poland: A Determined and Nonviolent Resistance
Gorbachev and the Beginning of the End
To the Bialowiezha Forest
Part Four: Postlude
Of Professor Ulam's book Understanding the Cold War, book, John Kenneth Galbraith writes:
"For close on half a century I have known and been delightfully informed by Adam Ulam -- often during a daily encounter for lunch at the Faculty Club. He was the central spokesman on Soviet and Russian matters for all those years at Harvard. I did not always agree; I was always informed and enchanted. We have lost Adam, to our sorrow and regret, but we have this book which tells wonderfully of what we once found so alert and interesting.
"I add my voice in gratitude that we still have this memory of one of the most distinguished and articulate members of the Harvard community, one we remember with both affection and gratitude."
And Harvey Cox, Thomas Professor of Divinity at Harvard, comments:
". . . Fascinating book: Adam Ulam was not only one of our greatest historians of the 20th Century; he also lived through its calamities and catastrophes. This is his moving, often riveting personal account of those tumultous decades. It is a compelling and deeply engaging story."
THE NEW REPUBLIC, NOVEMBER 6, 2000
by STEPHEN KOTKIN*
© 2000, by the New Republic
*Stephen Kotkin directs the Russian Studies program at Princeton
A Historian's Personal Reflections
by Adam B. Ulam
Leopolis, 448 pp.
KREMLINOLOGIST AS HEROTry to imagine the intellectual life of the post-war West without the Polish emigration. The Polish impact has been especially immense when it comes to views on Russia.
A COMMENT ON THE MEMORIAL EDITION
by VALERY BAZAROV
Family History Specialist,
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
Reading Adam Ulam's Understanding the Cold War was a personal experience for me. Everything Ulam was writing about the post-war Soviet Union I lived through. For forty-six years, the bigger (alas!) part of my life, the USSR was my native country. I was eleven when Stalin died, and I remember my mother crying in front of his portrait. I remember the day when Beria was denounced as a traitor.
&bnsp; I remember how deeply we were shocked when for the first time we read in the newspapers that Stalin was something less than God. For many years the Cold War was my everyday reality, and I always was interested in what really happened on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Especially mysterious were the Elders of the Kremlin, whose aura was once impermissible. Ulam leads you through the gallery of the portraits created by his skills, knowledge and magic intuition. They are all full of life: Stalin, Khruschev, Gorbachev, even short-lived Chernenko. The perfection of the result reached by the laconic economy of expression and psychological detail is on the scale of da Vinci's drawings.
The Ulam book is a treasure for those who want to know what is expected in our ever-changing world. As a good historian, Adam Ulam could extrapolate the past into the future. That is why his words sound prophetic: that after the demise of the Soviet Union "the challenge to the United States and other democracies is all the greater because the danger will be continually shifting in its nature and identity."
And one more thing: I have read other works of Adam Ulam and always respected his talent and erudition. After Understanding I got to know him as a person. So, I have one more friend.
A REVIEW FROM CHOICEby J. P. SMALDONE
Sept 1, 2001 © 2001 by Choice
Written in the last days before his death in March 2000, this book is a fitting epitaph and memorial to Ulam's half-century of monumental scholarship.
His 18 books and long tenure as twice-director of Harvard's Russian Studies Center mark him as one of the world's foremost scholars of the Soviet Union/Russia. Organized into 31 vignettes, Understanding the Cold War is an engaging, insightful, and poignant mix of autobiography and reflections on the Cold War and its aftermath. Occasional personal notes inserted by family members and academic colleagues add to its vitality. Although lacking the apparatus of footnotes and bibliography, an accompanying Web site provides photos and biographical and historical materials documenting Ulam's life and times. It will appeal to scholars and other serious readers of recent history and autobiography. . . .
A Work in Progress
compiled and edited by
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz
Published in Collaboration with
The Kosciuszko Chair
at the Miller Center of Public Affairs
the University of Virginia
Price $29.95 including shipping
|"Poland's Transformation provides a comprehensive as well as incisive overview of the extraordinarily difficult and historically unprecedented process of transforming an increasingly corrupt and decayed totalitarian system into a modern democracy."
|Zbigniew Brzezinski, Counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Professor of American foreign Policy, School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University
|"This extremely useful volume explains the essential elements of the post-Communist political transition in Poland. Its authors convey not only the basic necessary information of recent history but more importantly the cultural and ideological underpinnings that can be captured only by authorities who have developed over a lifetime that special sixth sense for detecting the elusive and unquantifiable soul of a country."
|John Lenczowski, Director, the Institute of World Politics
"Defying the stereotypes of their national character, Poles carried out two peaceful revolutions in the span of one generation: first, the self-limiting movement of Solidarity, which undermined the legitimacy of Communism, and then a negotiated transfer of power from Communism to free-market democracy.
"Today, while Poland is seen as a success story and is joining political and economic clubs of the democratic West, Poles themselves seem downcast. In making moral compromises with an outgoing tyranny, can you avoid cynicism and disappointment with democracy?
"We should be grateful to the authors and editors of this thoughtful volume for asking questions which remain relevant for that uncomfortably large part of humanity that still lives under totalitarian or authoritarian regimes."
|Radek Sikorski, Executive Director, New Atlantic Initiative, American Enterprise Institute; Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland, 1998-2000; Former Deputy Defense Minister of Poland, 1992.
Spanish Carlism and Polish Nationalism:
The Borderlands of Europe In the 19th and 20th Centuries:
Edited by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz and John Radzilowski
"As every schoolboy knows, Europe's Catholic Right has consisted of reactionaries who began in the service of residual feudal landowners and ended in support of big capital's exploitation and oppression of the masses. . . [T]he totalitarian horrors of the twentieth century proved prescient the warnings of the Cathloic Traditionalist Right about the consequences of radical democracy and cultural nihilism. These splendid essays, as readable as they are scholarly, launch a long-overdue assessment of vital political events."
Professor Eugene Genovese, former President,
The Historical Society
Old Constantinople (above).
Portrait of Halide Edib, ca. 1903 (r.).
House with Wisteria: Memoirs of Halide Edib
Introduction by Sibel Erol, New York University
"Halide Edib lived through the most turbulent times in modern Turkish history. Most unusually for a woman of her day, she did so not only as an eye witness, but as an active political participant. She was on close personal terms with powerful leaders such as Talat Pasha and Ataturk, but retained a critical and independent mind. All this gives her memoirs their unique character."
E. J. Zurcher, Leiden University