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.
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.
69 manuscript boxes
(28.8 linear feet)
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