A History of the Polish Americans
March 10, 2013
Author John J. Bukowczyk
Publisher Transaction Publishers
Publication Date 2008
A History of the Polish Americans chronicles the Polish experience in the United States and examines what it means to be a hyphenated American grappling with the dueling forces of assimilation and cultural heritage.
In 2005, writes the author, John Bukowczyk, there were nearly 10 million people of Polish ancestry in the U.S. (I had not remembered that Martha Stewart, née Kostyra, was one of them!) Although of American cities, Chicago claims the most people of Polish descent, New York and Newark are high on the list, too.
As I was reading, I noticed that—thanks to my Polish studies—I finally had a clue about how to pronounce the consonant-laden Polish last names I was coming across. For the uninitiated, Bukowczyk included a pronunciation key, which was thoughtful of him.
I’m afraid I did not make it very far in A History of the Polish Americans. I stopped reading about 30 pages in, in part because the style was a little dry and academic for me (not surprising, since the author is a history professor). Nonetheless, it seems like a useful survey of Polish-American history, and I would like to return to it in the future.