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Overview of the Mieczysław F. Rakowski Papers
90111  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Diaries, writings, correspondence, printed matter, photographs, and video tapes, relating to political conditions in Poland, especially during the decade of the 1980s, and to the Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza.
Background
Mieczysław Rakowski (1926-2008), a journalist and politician, was Poland's top communist intellectual. From 1958 to 1982 he was the editor in chief of the Polish United Worker's Party (PUWP) organ Polityka, perhaps the most open and sophisticated weekly in all the Soviet bloc. He was deputy prime minister from 1981 to 1985, and vice-marshal, Sejm, from 1985 to 1988. Rakowski was prime minister during 1988-89, the last year of the communist regime in Poland before the takeover of the government by the Solidarity opposition. After the PUWP suffered a resounding defeat in the first semi free elections in the Soviet bloc in June 1989, Rakowski tried unsuccessfully to salvage the future of his party, becoming its last first secretary. During the remaining eighteen years of his life, he tried to present himself as a Social Democrat and continued to write and offer occasional political commentary on Polish politics. He visited the Hoover Institution in 1998 and gave a lecture titled "Ushering Out Communism: A View from the Other Side" on Poland and the collapse of the Soviet Bloc, to a standing-room only audience.
Extent
69 manuscript boxes (28.8 linear feet)
Restrictions
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.
Availability
The collection is open for research. The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.