Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World (Revised)

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Product Details
Georgetown University Press
Publish Date
6.39 X 9.28 X 1.41 inches | 1.92 pounds

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About the Author

Jan Karski was born in Lódź, Poland, in 1914. He received a degree in Law and Diplomatic Science in 1935 and served as a liaison officer of the Polish Underground during World War II. He carried the first eyewitness report of the Holocaust to a mostly unbelieving West, meeting with President Roosevelt in 1943 to plead for Allied intervention. Story of a Secret State was originally published in 1944, becoming a bestseller and Book of the Month Club selection. After the war, Karski earned his PhD at Georgetown University, where he served as a distinguished professor in the School of Foreign Service for forty years. He died in Washington, DC, in 2000. Karski has been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. In 2012, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.


Those who fear they have been desensitized by the sheer volume of information chronicling Nazi brutality in occupied Europe must read this memoir. . . . This is an exciting but often painful recounting of one man's witness to terror and tragedy.

-- "Booklist"

Stands in the absolute first rank of books about the resistance in World War II. If you wish to read about a man more courageous and honourable than Jan Karski, I would have no idea who to recommend.

--Alan Furst, author of The Polish Officer

His wartime saga as officer, as Soviet prisoner, as escapee, in the hands of the Gestapo, and as a Polish Underground activist and courier, is beyond remarkable. In a world today where words such as 'courage' and 'heroism' have been so overused--applied freely from sports to entertainment to politics as to be rendered practically meaningless--Jan Karski was the rare human being who embodied both.

--David Harris, Huffington Post

Briskly paced, this is a gripping and immediate account of Nazi brutality from a brave leader of the resistance. (Starred Review)

-- "Publishers Weekly"

A disturbing, unique, invaluable record of Poland's suffering and heroism during World War II. A well-deserved revival of the author's 1944 best-seller. (Starred Review)

-- "Kirkus Reviews"

The story has all the characteristics of a spy-thriller--concealed film and suicide capsules, capture, interrogation, the drama of train travel and border checkpoints, the mysteries of those met, and countless convoluted escapes (a specialty of his)

-- "The Vienna Review"

Secret State is an indispensible and compelling historical document of World War II and the Holocaust, written by a supremely courageous humanitarian.

-- "Tampa Bay Times"