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Slav Outposts in Central European History
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations List of Maps Introduction 1. Subjugation, 800-1200 2. Co-existence and Erosion, 1200-1500 3. Reformation, 1500-1600 4. Confessions, 1600-1700 5. From Pietism to Enlightenment, 1700-1800 6. Awakening, 1800-1900 7. Self-Determination, 1900-1945 8. From Liberation (1945) to European Union (1990) References Index

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A history of the westernmost Slavic peoples - the Wends, the Sorbs and the Kashubs - from 800 AD to the modern day.

About the Author

Gerald Stone FBA is an Emeritus Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford, UK. He is the author of The Smallest Slavonic Nation: The Sorbs of Lusatia and numerous other books and articles on aspects of the language and culture of the Wends, Sorbs and Kashubs, including an Upper Sorbian-English Dictionary.

Reviews

[A] towering achievement in this neglected field ... [Stone's] work patiently and in a detailed manner leads the reader through the history, states, languages and cultures of the Slavic ethnic groups inhabiting present-day northern and eastern Germany and northeastern Poland. * European History Quarterly *
There is no other work like this in English ... In this thoroughly researched and judiciously argued volume, we have an indispensable contribution to Central European history. * History: Reviews of New Books *
A definitive master narrative of (or perhaps for) Wends, Sorbs and Kashubs. The western Slavic minorities, often neglected in scholarship, are given centre stage in this tour de force through nearly thirteen centuries. * Slavonic and East European Review *
This is a pioneering and unique history of the unlikely survivors of western Slavdom. Nobody but Gerald Stone could have interpreted the linguistic evidence so expertly, placed it so sensitively in wider historical contexts, and conveyed such erudition so lucidly. This wonderful book preserves for posterity knowledge not only of the Sorbs and Kashubs, but also of those Wends who did not survive to the end of the twentieth century. It is a book not only for lovers of endangered languages, but for all those who take an interest in global processes of homogenization and in resistance to them. * Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski, University College London, UK *
Stone deserves credit for taking on such a broad analysis of comparative history ... This is an impressive work ... The author cites rich sources, numerous biographies and also reveals the processes that shaped these communities. * Kwartalnik Historyczny (Bloomsbury translation) *
This is a formidable synthesis that draws on both classical and up-to-date scholarship from, and archival collections in, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland. At the same time, it is very well written and accessible... the author comfortably and aptly moves back and forth between the German, Czech, and Poland lands. This book will be of value to historians of a number of periods who often come upon groups like the Wends and Sorbs in specialized scholarship and other contexts, but don't know how to understand their place in a broader context. * James Palmitessa, Western Michigan University, USA *
This is the first comprehensive account of the history of the least known of Slavonic peoples, written by the doyen of international experts in the field. Always relatively few in numbers, but with distinctive language and culture, the Wends have long suffered neglect, since they never possessed political clout, still less statehood, in the strip of northern Central Europe where they have lived for a millennium between and amid Germans and Poles. Stone constructs a fascinating story out of the often exiguous sources, from the initial appearance of the Wends as fanatical pagan warriors to the latest challenges to their survival: persecution by Nazis, exploitation by Communists, constant pressure for assimilation, and a more insidious threat from vast opencast lignite mines in the heart of the historic Wendish territory. It's a poignant tale, sympathically, even affectionately told, but without any partiality or sentiment. It also yields rich comparative material for students of sociolinguistics, especially about public policy and private attitudes towards endangered languages. British readers may be reminded in particular of parallels with the history of our own Celtic language communities. * Robert Evans, University of Oxford, UK *
This is a comprehensive, chronologically balanced account of the various Wendish peoples who originally lived along the southern Baltic littoral from Kiel to Pomerelia and as far south as Augsburg. The author's dogged search for evidence of their presence and activities yields sometimes episodic vignettes from the medieval and early modern periods, most typically from literary references and religious documents that Stone (emer., Hertford College, Oxford) often quotes or reproduces in toto. The increasingly substantial modern record reinforces a prevailing narrative of intermittent discrimination by and ethnic mixing with their German neighbors so that the Wendish communities gradually shrank to the current areas of Sorbs in greater Saxony and the less populous Kashubs of the former Polish Corridor. Readers interested in the last century may be surprised by the Wends' association with Pan-Slavism and ensuing quest for union with the Czechs during and immediately after the two world wars, as they will be by the revelation that EU statesman Donald Tusk is himself a Kashub. The narrative is supported by helpful maps, as well as by the carefulness with which the author recounts the presence and numbers of the Wendish peoples. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. * CHOICE *

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