God's Playground, a History of Poland: The origins to 1795
In this first volume, Davies points out that long before the rise of Russia and Prussia the kingdom of Poland was a major power in eastern Europe. As an early recipient of Latin culture, Poland was deeply involved in the Reformation, Counter-Reformation, and Enlightenment. Before the notorious Partitions of 1773-95 redrew the map of Europe beyond all recognition, the United Republic of Poland-Lithuania was at once one of the largest states and home of one of the most extraordinary cultures of the continent, displaying a unique blend of military prowess, religious tolerance, democratic ideals, and political chaos.
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