This book reveals some inconvenient truths…

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Jo Harper from Harper`s Editing Services


and this is how I can help you…

Jo Harper is a freelance British journalist based in Warsaw, writing for the BBCPoliticoDeutsche Welle and others. He is editor of Poland’s Memory Wars: Essays on Illiberalism (CEU Press, 2018) on the rise of PiS, and holds a PhD from the London School of Economics on Polish political history.” (source: CEU Press)


An account of the Polish post-1989 transition and contemporary politics, written by a Brit living now in Poland. It challenges some accepted thinking in the West about Poland and about the rise of Kaczyński’s Law and Justice (PiS).


  • Przedmowa
  • Podziękowania
  • Rozdział 1 – Do usług Jej Królewskiej Mości!
  • Rozdział 2 – Pan Kaczyński, „The Guardian” i ja
  • Rozdział 3 – Wybory parlamentarne w październiku 2019 roku w brytyjskich mediach
  • Rozdział 4 – Niespodziewana pauza, czyli wybory, których nie było. Maj 2020
  • Rozdział 5 – Zapiski z brytyjskich mediów: Doniesienia z wyborów prezydenckich w czerwcu 2020
  • Rozdział 6 – Synteza. Jak odnaleźć głos między wzniosłością i absurdem
  • Notatki z pandemii
  • ANEKS I – Głos reportera: Rok wyborów – wybrane zagadnienia
  • ANEKS II – Głos akademicki
  • ANEKS III – Post-postkolonialni?
  • ANEKS IV – Walka klas
  • ANEKS V – Poplątane nadzieje społeczeństwa obywatelskiego

What readers say

See opinions and reviews of the book.

Reading the text is highly instructive. Foreign observers, for whom it is intended in the first place, will gain a useful short course in the history of modern Poland (although Harper’s belief that terms such as “thick line” should not be annotated for them seems to be misplaced). And Polish readers would discover that – contrary to the author’s favourite saying: “Not my circus, not my monkeys” – the circus he describes is his, and the monkeys too – to such an extent that he himself seems to understand that he has become one of them. It is a useful antidote to our familiar sense of incomprehensible uniqueness.

David Warszawski, Polish journalist

Witty, irritating, and refreshingly irreverent, Jo Harper’s recent book stands out among the admittedly modest collection of books about contemporary Polish politics. Its copious quotations are well documented: a rare phenomenon in journalistic writings about Poland, the writings that usually turn around a few terms that unequivocally condemn before documenting, analysing, or asking for a second opinion.

Its critique of the British press writing about Poland is right on target.

Ewa Thompson, a research professor of Slavic Studies and the former chairperson of the Department of German and Slavic Studies at Rice University