It is a pleasure and a privilege to write the Introduction to this important monograph. The book consists of three parts, written by different authors. It is to the credit of the editors that the parts complement each other and so blend together that they make the volume one readable unit. It would be futile to even try to ask which of the parts is the most valuable; all are important, and they have been placed in a logical sequence.
In order to cover the history and culture of Poland on forty-eight pages, the author obviously had no choice but to bring in her own emphasis. Her sense of historical perspective and her good judgment prevailed even though many facts had of necessity to be left out. There are bound to be readers who may not find in that part a description of their favorite Polish custom or a legend. Others may unduly be unhappy about the brevity of the very first historical section. Considering, however, the limited space at her disposal, the author fully succeeded in introducing the American reader to Polish history and culture. The Polish reader, well versed in the subject should remember--in all fairness to the author--that the purpose of this monograph is to serve primarily non-Polish readers, and that objective has been clearly achieved.
The section on the Polish immigration to America serves as a bridge between the first and the third parts of the book, and at the same time, it is an ideal introduction to part three dealing with the local situation in Cleveland. In part two the authors have wisely placed the question of the Polish immigration to the
her B.A. and M.A. degrees at The Cleveland State University, studied at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Krakow, Poland.
Mrs. Alice Boberg and Mr. Ralph Wroblewski are the authors of the section on Polish immigration and contributions to America. Both Mrs. Boberg and Mr. Wroblewski are experienced and highly qualified high school teachers. The former taught in private and public schools of the state of Michigan, the latter is the Chairman of Social Studies at Saint Joseph High School, Cleveland, Ohio.
Mr. John Grabowski is the author of the third section on the Polish community of Cleveland, the most original of the three sections. John is a young and promising researcher and scholar in ethnic history. Presently, he is a doctoral candidate at Case Western Reserve University and the Ethnic Archives Specialist for the Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio. To the four major contributors my heartfelt thanks.
I am equally grateful to Mr. Ronald Kurowski, past chairman of the Educational and Cultural Committee of the Polish American Congress, who had the difficult task of selecting the team of writers, coordinating the work and reviewing the original manuscript for content.
Special thanks also to Dr. George J. Maciuszko, noted Polish scholar for the valuable introduction; to professor Diane Karpinski of the CSU English Department for preparing the section on folk tales;
romanticizing its past. It is in this light that the present pioneering publication should be seen. (Because it is a pioneering effort, the book's shortcomings should be viewed with some indulgence. For instance, the spelling of the Polish first names ought to have been streamlined and made more consistent. However, whatever its shortcomings, they do not detract anything from the value of the book, and they are all minor.)
This book has many applications. It can be used both by students and teachers. Material in this and other similar monographs soon to appear in print can be used for such student projects as developing documentary tapes or slides (or perhaps even a motion picture), research papers, papers for special programs, etc. There is simply no end to its usefulness.
When the following pages go to press, they will produce more than just another book. They will represent a pioneering venture of one ethnic group made in recognition of its gratitude and its obligation to this great country in its bicentennial year.
Jerzy (George) J. Maciuszko