Cambridge, Mass. November 24, 1998. Dr. Timothy Snyder, currently an Academy Scholar at Harvard's Academy for International and Area Studies at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, has been awarded the Oskar Halecki Polish and East Central European History Award for his book Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz, 1872-1905. The book was published in 1997 by the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. The Halecki Prize is administered by the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America. This is the second HURI book to win the prize since its inception four years ago.
Dr. Snyder's book traces the development and intellectual growth of Kelles-Krauz, who was an important social thinker in the traditions of Polish socialism, European positivism, and liberal nationalism. Believing that national identity proceeds in train with modernization, he challenged the school of thought, championed by Rosa Luxemburg, that treated nationality as historically transitory and inherently reactionary. His conception of the importance of national identity as the basis of future European order was prescient and he was one of the first Polish intellectuals to openly express a desire to see the peaceful coexistence of Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians, with each having their national aspirations met. Much of his philosophical and sociological work has great resonance for the present-day situation in Central and Eastern Europe.
Dr. Snyder, a native of Centerville, Ohio, received his BA from Brown in 1991 and his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 1995. His book is based on his doctoral dissertation. His previous honors include a British Marshall Scholarship, an ACLS dissertation fellowship, and numerous research grants. He presently is working on an extended research project on Poland's relations with its eastern neighbors, including Ukraine, Lithuania, and Belarus, through the prism of national history. He has published extensively, and carried out a great deal of archival research abroad. His experience and intellectual achievements to date are exceptional for a young scholar who is not yet thirty years old.
The selection committee was composed of a number of eminent scholars of Polish and East Central European History. They include Professor Piotr Wandycz of Yale University, Professor Paul Knoll of USC, Prof. Stanislaus Blejwas of Central Connecticut State University, Dr. Neal Pease of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Professor M. B. Biskupski of St. John Fisher College. The committee cited the book for "providing insights into the thinking of arguably the most interesting and original Polish socialist linked with the Polish Socialist Party."
Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe is available through Harvard University Press. 351 pp., b&w; photographs, maps, softcover, ISBN 0-916458-84-9. $18.00. Call 1-800-448-2242 or visit the HUP website at www.hup.harvard.edu.