Passion and Restraint
Much of today’s international order can be traced to the experimentations with governance that occurred in central Europe immediately after World War I. And though Western governments did not bring about the creation of Poland on their own or determine all of its eventual borders, their attempts to do so left many lingering grudges and made the years immediately following the war a crucial period in Polish and international history. Passion and Restraint examines how British, French, and American foreign policymakers interacted with Poles and the idea of an independent Poland during this period. Western policymakers knew little about Poland in 1914, but by war’s end they were drawing the new country’s borders, sending humanitarian aid, and imposing minority protections. Attitudes regarding national character and emotional restraint were central, intertwined themes in British, French, and American diplomacy during this period of Polish rebirth, and policymakers’ opinions of national character evolved based on personal experiences, political conditions, and dominant understandings of the Polish people in the early twentieth century. Amid these changing attitudes, policymakers emphasized the necessity of Polish emotional restraint.Demonstrating how emotions and stereotypes were integral to diplomatic decision-making, Passion and Restraint brings attention to these often-overlooked historical factors, advancing a new lens for the study of Polish, European, and international history.
- 2022 McGill-Queen’s University Press
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