Though Poles have played an important role in world history for more than 1,000 years, reference books devoted to the accomplishments of these men and women have been virtually nonexistent. Until now, the only book on the subject was Stephen P. Mizwa's Great Men and Women of Poland, published in 1942 and profiling only 30 subjects.
That void has been filled with the publication of The Polish Biographical Dictionary.
The product of more than ten years of research by author Stanley Sokol, The Polish Biographical Dictionary profiles nearly 900 Poles from the tenth century to the present, offering insightful and informative commentaries on the individuals who have helped to shape the history of Poland and the world.
Naturally, the book features entries on Poland's most famous citizens, including Nicholas Copernicus, Frederick Chopin, Marie Curie, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Waclaw Nijinski, Pope John Paul II, and Lech Walesa. In all the book profiles ten saints, eleven Nobel Prize winners, and many more figures who have achieved world renown.
However, the book also covers lesser known, but equally worthy, individuals, including the first woman to sail solo around the world, the man behind the lunar rover, and the inventor of the automobile windshield wiper. The infamous are also represented in the volume, as Sokol's subjects include a presidential assassin and the man responsible for the creation of the Soviet Union's feared KGB.