SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Poland

Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of nearly 38.5 million people, Poland is the fifth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea and Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast to the north and Ukraine to the east and the Czech Republic to the south, Germany to the west; the history of human activity on Polish soil spans 500,000 years. Throughout the Iron Age the area became extensively diverse, with various cultures and tribes settling on the vast Central European Plain. However, it was the Western Polans who gave Poland its name; the establishment of Polish statehood can be traced to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity.

The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin. This union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791. With the passing of prominence and prosperity, the country was partitioned by neighbouring states at the end of the 18th century, regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. After a series of territorial conflicts, the new multi-ethnic Poland restored its position as a key player in European politics. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Around six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war.

In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland has a developed market and is a regional power in Central Europe, with the largest stock exchange in the East-Central European zone, it has the sixth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and the tenth largest in all of Europe. It's one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom. Alongside a developed school educational system, the state provides free university education, social security, a universal health care system; the country has 16 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group, guested at the G20.

The origin of the name "Poland" derives from the Lechitic tribe of Polans, who inhabited the Warta river basin of present-day Greater Poland region starting in the mid-6th century. The origin of the name Polanie. In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the country's name is derived from the Lendians, who dwelled on the south-eastern most edge of present-day Lesser Poland, in the Cherven Grods between the 7th and 11th centuries — lands which were part of the territorial domain ruled over by the Polans, their name derives from the Old Polish word lęda. The early Bronze Age in Poland began around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 700 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the late Bronze Age, around 748 BC. Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD.

These groups are identified as Celtic, Germanic, Sarmatian and Baltic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kuyavia region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the West Slavic or Lechitic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of West Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church. However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s.

Poland began to form into a reco

Studies in Classic American Literature

Studies in Classic American Literature is a work of literary criticism by the English writer D. H. Lawrence, it was first published by Thomas Seltzer in the United States in August 1923. The British edition was published in June 1924 by Martin Secker; the authors discussed include Benjamin Franklin, Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Richard Henry Dana, Jr. Herman Melville, Walt Whitman; the critic Harold Bloom listed Studies in Classic American Literature in his The Western Canon as one of the books that have been important and influential in Western culture. Lawrence's work is credited with contributing to the restoration of Herman Melville as a seminal figure in American literature. Studies in Classic American Literature, edited by Ezra Greenspan, Lindeth Vasey and John Worthen, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-521-55016-5 Studies in Classic American Literature from American Studies at the University of Virginia

The Devil's Star

The Devil's Star is a crime novel by Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø, the fifth in the Harry Hole series. An English-translated version of the book named; the story moves between two parallel themes – the appearance of a new serial killer terrorizing Oslo, Harry Hole's ongoing feud with the corrupt and utterly ruthless fellow police officer Tom Waaler, a major part of the plot of the two previous books, "The Redbreast" and "Nemesis". The two issues converge – enabling Harry to resolve both in the course of a single cataclysmic night. A young woman is murdered in her Oslo flat. One finger has been severed from her left hand, behind her eyelid is secreted a tiny diamond in the shape of a five-pointed star – a pentagram, the devil's star. Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with his long-time adversary Tom Waaler and wants no part in it, but Hole is on notice to quit the force and is left with little alternative but to drag himself out of his alcoholic stupor and get to work. A wave of similar murders is on the horizon.

An emerging pattern suggests that Oslo has a serial killer on its hands, the five-pointed devil's star seems to be the key to solving the riddle. Pursuing his suspicions during the Nemesis investigation, Inspector Harry Hole attempts to convince the Chief Inspector that his colleague, Tom Waaler, is a smuggling kingpin known as'The Prince', involved in smuggling weapons into Oslo as well as the murder of a number of witnesses, including Hole's former partner Ellen Gjelten. Due to a lack of evidence, Hole goes on an alcoholic binge, his superior reluctantly sends termination of employment papers to the Chief Inspector, but Hole gets a short reprieve as the Chief is on holiday for three weeks and thus cannot sign them. Meanwhile, a murder victim is discovered dead in her shower, shot in the head. Waaler is appointed to lead the investigation, but Hole and his former partner Beate Lønn are attached to Waaler's team. Hole, investigating the murder scene, discovers a small, five-pointed diamond under the eyelid of the victim and that a finger is missing from her left hand.

Another murder is presumed when the director of a theatre production of My Fair Lady, reports that his wife has gone missing. Her finger is sent to Kripos. A few days a third victim is found, this time in the female toilets at a law firm on the floor and a five-pointed red diamond on the body, yet again a finger has been removed. Waaler – who has heard about Hole's investigation of him – offers to include Hole in his illegal dealings, dangling the large financial benefits of his criminal activities as an inducement. In return, Hole has to perform an initiation task. Hole is confused as to why Waaler is admitting his guilt, but is reminded that, as an alcoholic, Hole's evidence would not be sufficient to convict him if he went to his superiors. Hole agrees to think about the offer. Meanwhile, a chance sighting of a pentagram brings Hole a flash of inspiration; the five-pointed diamonds found on the victims are in a similar shape – known as a Devil's Star – and provide a major clue as to the next possible murder locations, which are kept under surveillance: one is in a student residence hall and the other is a house on the outskirts of the city, owned by Olaug Sivertsen.

While investigating this house, Lønn discovers that the murderer is Olaug's son, Sven. She informs Hole by phone. Hole gives this information to Waaler, who leaves to assist Lønn. Hole, using installed CCTV cameras, notices another pentagram on a student's door; the body of the victim is found at the residence hall, is determined to be the first victim of the serial killer, murdered five days before the first discovered victim. Meanwhile, Waaler apprehends Sven, but his threats to shoot him lead Lønn to realise that he intended to murder Sven instead of arresting him, leading her to agree with Hole's suspicions. Hole is given his task by Waaler: to kill Sven in custody using a poison capsule, as Waaler's influence is such that he can guarantee that Hole will get away with the murder. Waaler's argument for Sven's murder is that he would get a lenient punishment from the Norwegian judicial system, that death would be a worthy sentence for his crimes. Hole realizes however that Waaler's desire to kill Sven is born out of a desire to eliminate a dangerous witness to his role in the smuggling ring, to this end he convinces Sven that he should trust him and not Waaler.

He breaks Sven out of custody with the intention of bringing Waaler to justice. Hole is now a hunted man, his future in the police - and quite his life - depend on his being able to prove Waaler's crimes. Sven is willing to testify against Waaler, but he is adamant of his innocence of the murders, his testimony is wholly dependent on Hole exonerating him. Hole is faced with the daunting task of discovering the true murderer in a single day. However, a clue is provided by a irrelevant photograph which Sven shows Hole, this combined with a minute but precise piece of forensic evidence points to a unexpected perpetrator. Leaving Sven chained up, Hole encounters his new suspect in the immediate aftermath of his committing yet another murder. Hole comes near to being killed himself, but the killer commits suicide. Just as Hole believes that he is in the clear, Waaler calls to inform him that he has kidnapped his surrogate son Oleg and demands that he trade Sven for th