At the beginning of August 1980, the movement which would eventually become Solidarity consisted of a few dozen individuals scattered throughout Poland. Within a year, as its first anniversary posters proudly proclaimed, Solidarity's membership had swelled to "10 million Solid." Ten million highly disciplined, active Polish citizens moving in unison to seek a better life - perhaps the most astonishing flowering of political hope in the world's recent history. Within another six months, however, that hope was being smashed in a stunning, brutal military takeover. Lawrence Weschler's reports for The New Yorker on the spirit and aspirations of the short-lived Polish renewal have been praised as among the most vivid and thoughtful to have yet appeared. This volume consists of an expanded version of these articles, plus a timely epilogue and a detailed and useful chronology of Polish history since 1939 (within the context of simultaneous world history and with particular emphasis on the events of 1980 and 1981). Weschler's account, rife with anecdote, explores the economic, historic, and religious conditions that made Solidarity possible, the individual heroism that made it actual, and the dark political realities that always made it vulnerable. There is also a substantial digression on the troubled conscience of Poland because of its treatment of the Jews. In his epilogue, Weschler considers the future of the ongoing aspirations which Solidarity championed. "We have not yet heard the end of the episode," he insists. Over 50 photographs supplement the text (including exclusive shots of the 1970 Gdansk massacre, smuggled out of Poland), along with a rich sampling of Solidarity poster art. -- from dust jacket.