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From Cotton and Smoke: Łódź – Industrial City and Discourses of Asynchronous Modernity 1897–1994

Opis produktu

This book envisions Łódź, a city in present-day central Poland, the region’s textile industrial hub, to have been the capital of the Polish 19th century. Its history is a tale of struggle with modern change in Eastern Europe. The authors boldly challenge the romantic and noble-based Polish cultural imaginary, offering instead a revolutionary path to understanding confrontation with modernity in the region.

The book examines local press debates during four pivotal periods, each of which stimulated self-reflection on the idea of the modern city:

– Rapid industrial growth in the tsarist borderlands;

– State crafting after WWI;

– Socialist restructuring after 1945;

– Transition and deindustrialization after 1989.

Together these insights constitute a multi-faced portrait of 20th century urban experience beyond the metropolis, in different historical contexts.

This innovative, interdisciplinary work deftly integrates urban and cultural history, historical sociology and discourse research. It will be of great value to Polish and Jewish studies’ specialists, as well as those in the field of Eastern European and Slavic studies. The book also addresses core intellectual debates within urban studies, modernity studies and historical discourse analysis worldwide.

 

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
List of Tables 11
List of Illustrations 13

Agata Zysiak, Kamil Śmiechowski, Kaja Kaźmierska, Wiktor Marzec, Introduction 17
There Is a City in Europe 19
Translocal Modernity 21
Printed Modernity 25
Journey through a Century 28
The Structure and Content of the Modern Discourse 31

Agata Zysiak, Kamil Śmiechowski, Wiktor Marzec, The Beginnings: Entrance to the Industrial World 1897–1914 37
The Promised Land in the Mud 37
From Othering to Condemnation 45
Re-imaging the City 53
Harmonious Modernity and Urban Self-assertion 57
The Dream of a Proper Infrastructure 63
Calling for Institutions 68
Inventing Welfare 74
Educating the Masses 84
Envisioning Urban Citizenship 86
Ethnicizing the Economy 90
Forging Modernity – Conclusion 100

Kamil Piskała, The Interwar: Democratic Politics and Modern City between Two World Wars 1918–1923 103
The Decline of the “Polish Manchester” 103
The Years of War: the Economic Collapse and Political Liberalization 104
Democratic Politics and the Press in the Independent State 108
From Class Warfare to the Modernization Program 112
The Visions of a Metropolis and Municipal Socialism 121
Rhetorical Shifts 124
Against the “Philosophy of the Crowd” 131
National Capitalism 135
Antisemitism as a Social Critique 138
From Antisemitism to Political Mobilization 148
Class or Nation? 152
The Crisis of Modernization and European Civil War – Conclusion 157

Agata Zysiak, Kamil Piskała, The Postwar: Social Justice for the Proletarian City? 1945–1949 165
New Reality 165
New Worldwide Order 166
Postwar Cinderella 169
New Scope of Press Influence 174
Tempting Visions in Hard Times 180
Rhetoric of Appeasement 184
Patterns of Legitimization: Dark Past and Bright Future 188
Working Classes and Everyday Life 192
Towards a Functionalist City 197
Osiedle and beyond 200
Planning 205
Metropolitan Dreams and a Wake-up Call 211
From Modest Modernization to Socialist City – Conclusion 216

Kamil Śmiechowski, Jacek Burski, Transition: The Postindustrial Orphan in Neoliberal Poland 1989–1994 221
Re-inventing the City 221
The Socialist-Style American Dream 223
Shock and Helplessness 232
New Press and New Politics 237
The Market as a Principle of Social Organization 244
City in Crisis 247
Projects of Breaking Through 252
Bringing Capitalism back in – Conclusion 259

Agata Zysiak, Kaja Kaźmierska, Wiktor Marzec, A City Lost in Space in a Country Lost in Time – Conclusion 263
Struggling with the Modern Challenge 263
City from Cotton and Smoke 267
The Press is Back in Town 270
Narratives of Modernity 272

Methodological Appendix 277
Primary Sources Covered 281
Reference list 283
Index of Names 307
List of Contributors 315

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