Diaries, writings, correspondence, printed matter, photographs, and video tapes relating to political conditions in Poland
during 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 Workers' 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
the vice-marshal of Sejm, from 1985 to 1988. Rakowski was prime minister from 1988 to 1989, 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 on Poland and the collapse of the Soviet Bloc titled, "Ushering Out Communism: A View
from the Other Side."