The celebrated pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski was the rave of Paris, London, and New York audiences in the early twentieth century, with annual concert tours across the continents. But during World War I, Paderewski set music aside and turned to politics, becoming an eloquent spokesman for the country of his birth, Poland, then occupied by the empires of Russia, Germany, and Austria. Through his fame as a musician, Paderewski gained access to the top political leadership of France, Britain, and the United States. His devoted wife and collaborator, Helena, facilitated and accompanied virtually his every move. Her memoirs, written in English for a US audience and as a tribute to the US contribution to the Allied victory and help in the restoration of Poland, are the story of this great international adventure. In addition to being the constant companion and confidante of her famous husband, Helena was a woman with a broad range of practical interests and commitments. Her humanitarian and social work projects ranged from a care home for elderly female veterans of the struggle for independence, to care homes and feeding stations for refugee children, to her flagship endeavor, the Polish White Cross, an organization with some twenty thousand members over which she presided. She is one of the key sources on the historical events in which she participated or her husband told her about.
Hoover Institution Press
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