This book would do much better in terms of popularity among readers if not for the ridiculously high price (presently $80.00). To add insult to the injury I hear the publisher expects the book to be recommended textbook on the history of Poland among students of political sciences. Be it the case or not, the price is clearly way too high and the results are for everybody to see.
Another, although not as serious, problem with this book is the fact that it was written quite a few years ago and it now suffers a bit from the passage of time. This book is a number of conversations (about twenty or so) the author conducted with very eminent activists, even leaders of the Solidarity Trade Union but those conversations occurred several years ago, mostly in the early 2000's. But the rating is about the content of the book and about the quality of work the author himself did, not about the aspects that Mr. Szporer had no control of. And he did a very good job indeed.
The book is a collection of conversations with the leading members of the Solidarity movement and its supporters including such personae like Adam Michnik, Jacek Kuron, who both were very early dissidents in Poland who started their political activities in the 60-ties; Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the first non-communist Prime Minister of free Poland (from 1989), Bogdan Borusewicz, one of the main organizers of the Gdansk strike in 1980, now the Speaker of the Senate, Andrzej Gwiazda, at a time second in command at Solidarity Trade Union, or Anna Walentynowicz whose firing from the Gdansk shipyard in 1980 gave direct impulse to ignite the historic strike.
Not all of the interviewed people are famous but all of them were important figures in the events leading to the strike (like activists of the underground free trade union movement in the 1970-ties), or in the Gdansk Strike (of 1980) itself. The particularly interesting thing about this book is the record of these people's opinions about political and social realities of the time, their stories about what motivated them to take active role in political opposition and, finally, their opinions about what eventually came out of this entire effort. Some of them, like Andrzej Gwiazda, became very disenchanted with the post-communist realities saying this is not what they actually fought for.
In its concept the book is somewhat reminiscent of Teresa Toranska now classic positions "Them" or "Us", in depth conversations with some former prominent Polish Communists who played leading roles in the Stalinist system in Poland in the years 1944-1956 (Oni) and with the leaders of the Solidarity movement who were in charge of creating a new, post-communist order in Poland after the collapse of Communist rule. This book perhaps doesn't reach that same level of in-depth analysis - Toranska's conversations, especially in "Them", were almost interrogations - still, what all these activists interviewed by Szporer had to say is very informative, revealing and add considerably to the body of knowledge about that particular period in the history of Poland which, arguably, had global implications by initiating process of the collapse of communism in Central Europe and the Soviet Union itself. The reader has a chance to get a glimpse of how it was, why or what came out of all of this process.