Beata Halicka’s masterly narrated biography is the story of an extraordinary man and leading intellectual in the Polish-American community. Z. Anthony Kruszewski was first a Polish scout fighting in World War II against the Nazi occupiers, then a Prisoner of War/Displaced Person in Western Europe. He was stranded as a penniless immigrant in post-war America and eventually became a world-renowned academic.
Kruszewski’s almost incredible life stands out from his entire generation. His story is a microcosm of 20th-century history, covering various theatres and incorporating key events and individuals. Kruszewski walks a stage very few people have even stood on, both as an eye-witness at the centre of the Second World War, and later as vice-president of the Polish American Congress, and a professor and political scientist at world-class universities in the USA. Not only did he become a pioneer and a leading figure in Borderland Studies, but he is a borderlander in every sense of the word.
Beata Halicka is a Professor of Contemporary History at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland). She lectured at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, between 2006 and 2014, and was a Visiting Professor at the universities in Calgary (2014), Chicago (2015) und in 2016 in El Paso (USA). Her research interests include nationalism, forced migrations, constructions of identities in border regions, collective memory, German-Polish relations, and Polish diaspora in the world.