The Struggle and the Triumph
By: Lech Walesa;
Genre: Autobiography - Biography, History, Politics,
Description: From the time he founded Solidarity in 1980 to the historic moment in December 1990 when he took the oath of office as the first freely elected president of Poland in half a century, Lech Walesa has had all eyes upon him. He became the symbol of freedom and hope not only for Poland but for all the countries in the former Eastern Bloc. Walesa's dreams for his own beleaguered homeland rejuvenated the entire world's faith in democracy, and inspired a movement that changed the map of Europe and altered the course of history. Here, in his own words, is his unforgettable story. Picking up where his earlier volume of memoirs, The Way of Hope, left off, Walesa continues his account of Poland's inexorable march toward independence by reliving what may have been the darkest moment of all. The murder of Father Popieluszko by government thugs in 1984 was a crime of such callous horror that it froze the attention of the nation and the world. Despite everything they had accomplished up to then, Solidarity and Walesa, like Poland itself, were still mired in the dull nightmare of totalitarianism. Forced underground and dodging the secret police, they struggled to stay alive. Yet Popieluszko's death was not in vain. Under the nurturing guidance of Pope John Paul II and the warming rays of glasnost, Solidarity rose again, until even the Polish government and its apparatchiks could no longer ignore Walesa and his unstoppable movement. "There is no freedom without Solidarity" once more echoed off factory walls and resounded from church pulpits. By 1989 Solidarity was legal again and, after eight years of persecution, able to negotiate openly with the government, participate in popular elections, and, with Walesa still at the helm, lay the foundation for the future of Poland. But more than just an inside account of Poland's recent history, The Struggle and the Triumph is also a candid self-portrait by this fascinating, unique, and outspoken man.