Why My Parents Backed Poland’s Far-Right Party

The Postwar Generation Struggled. I Hope That the Newly Elected Parliament Will Bring Them Into the Fold

“Poles are idiots!”

“What are poor people going to do?”

Last October, just days after Poland’s most recent parliamentary elections, I listened as my craggy-faced 83-year-old father angrily shouted these words through the phone receiver in his apartment on the outskirts of Kraków. He and my mother were both distraught. Their party, the populist, right-wing Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, or PiS) of Jarosław Kaczyński had just lost its majority.

For Poland’s last three parliamentary elections, my parents have put on their Sunday best and exercised their democratic right to vote …

Why Are So Many Eastern Europeans Suddenly Celebrating Nazi Collaborators?

New National Mythologies Rely on ‘Heroes’ That Help Downplay the Holocaust

When is a hero not really a hero? When a country resurrects a tainted figure to serve the needs of a new national mythology. Consider the case of Latvian national …

How Deprivation and the Threat of Violence Made Sweden Equal

War and the Great Depression Spurred Its Embrace of the Welfare State

Sweden is almost universally regarded as a bastion of sensible people, temperate social policies, and steady, evenly distributed economic growth. So it surprises many to learn that the Scandinavian country …

Living in a Modern Way

When California Designed the Future

GIs in World War II were urged to consider what their post-war home should be like.


Home is where most Angelenos wanted to live when World War II ended, in a …