An American in Warsaw

September 2018
30 black and white, 2 line illustrations
608 pages
9x6 in
Rochester Studies in East and Central Europe
ISBN: 9781580469296
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BISAC HIS010010, POL011010

An American in Warsaw

Selected Writings of Hugh S. Gibson, US Minister to Poland, 1919-1924

Edited by Vivian Hux Reed, M. B. B. Biskupski, Jochen Böhler, Jan-Roman Potockio

Hugh Gibson, US Minister to Poland from 1919 to 1924, recorded his involvement with the rocky first years of Polish statehood in this collection of official dispatches and personal letters.
This book presents the writings of Hugh S. Gibson, who served from 1919 to 1924 as the first US Minister to the new Second Polish Republic. Crucially involved with world-shaping events, Gibson faithfully recorded his eyewitness impressions and interactions with the nascent Polish state, bickering Allies, and increasingly isolationist Americans. The selected material draws from both State Department dispatches and personal letters, most of it appearing in print for the first time. Editor Vivian Hux Reed, working with experts M. B. B. Biskupski, Jochen Böhler, and Jan-Roman Potocki, provides historical context through a comprehensive introduction and series of annotations. Reminiscences by Gibson's late son Michael Francis Gibson provide personal context.

With a flair for pertinent analysis, Gibson records the rocky first years of Polish statehood. He advocated for American support of the young democracy and emphasized to both Polish and US government officials the need for a strong state to protect the rights of all Polish citizens. His words are prophetic, accurately assessing the need for strong state structures to protect all citizens and predicting the danger posed especially to minority groups should such structures fail.

VIVIAN HUX REED has an MA in history from Western Oregon University. M. B. B. BISKUPSKI is professor of history, Central Connectictut State University. JOCHEN BÖHLER is a research associate, Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena at Friedrich Schiller University. JAN-ROMAN POTOCKI has an MPhil in International Relations from Cambridge University.

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Table of Contents

A Few Things About My Father
A New Observer in a New Poland: 1919
A Wild Ride: 1920
Aftermath and Rebuilding: 1921
A Wedding and a Funeral: 1922
Stabilization: 1923
Changes in the Wind: 1924
List of Publications by Hugh S. Gibson
Selected Bibliography


Hugh Gibson served as US Minister to Poland at a critical time in Polish and European history, as the reconstituted Polish state sought to establish and secure its governing structures, independence, and borders against formidable odds in the chaotic years that followed in the wake of the First World War. Gibson's writings from this period, skillfully edited and annotated by Vivian Reed, provide the engaging perspective of a well-informed outsider whose understanding of Poland's geopolitical dilemma was based on thoughtful and objective analysis. --Robert Blobaum, author of A Minor Apocalypse: Warsaw during the First World War.

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