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History Poland

Passion and Restraint

Poles and Poland in Western Diplomacy, 1914-1921

by (author) Denis Clark

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
Poland, Eastern
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022

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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.

About the author

Denis Clark, DPhil, has published in Nations and Nationalism, The International History Review, and Studia Historyczne, and has taught at the University of Oxford and the University of Calgary.

Denis Clark's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Denis Clark joins the growing field of the 'history of emotions' with this well-researched, novel, and convincing analysis of perceptions and cultural predispositions in diplomacy and foreign policy-making.” Volker Prott, Aston University and author of The Politics of Self-determination: Remaking Territories and National Identities in Europe, 1917–1923