The Polish historian Sławomir Cenckiewicz, formerly of the Institute of National Memory, has produced a book discussing the life and impact of Anna Walentynowicz, whose dismissal from the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk in early August 1980, five months before she was scheduled to retire, became the catalyst for the formation of Solidarity. The appendices to Cenckiewicz's book consist of more than 300 densely printed pages of crucial documents from the former state security archives, and these make the volume worthwhile. As a biography, the book has notable shortcomings, in part because it contains a good deal of extraneous material and fails to discuss numerous parts of Walentynowicz's life. Even so, Cenckiewicz does successfully capture some aspects of Walentynowicz's character and activities. In time, better books about Walentynowicz will appear, but Cenckiewicz's volume will be an important source for future biographers.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.