History Professor Anna Kirchmann's latest book, "Letters from Readers in the Polish American Press, 1902-1969: A Corner for Everybody," has just been published by Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield. The book is a unique collection of close to 500 letters from Polish American readers that were published in Ameryka-Echo between 1902 and 1969. In these letters, Polish immigrants speak in their own words about their American experience, and vigorously debate religion, organization of their community, ethnic identity, American politics and society, and ties to the homeland. The translated letters are annotated and divided into thematic chapters with informative introductions. The Ameryka-Echo letters are a rich source of information on the history of Polish Americans, which can serve as primary sources for students and scholars.
According to the book's abstract, "Polish Americans formed one of the largest European immigrant groups in the United States and their community developed a vibrant Polish-language press, which tied together networks of readers in the entire Polish immigrant Diaspora.
"Newspaper editors encouraged their readers to write to the press and provided them with public space to exchange their views and opinions. Ameryka-Echo, a weekly published from Toledo, OH, was one of the most popular and long-lasting newspapers with international circulation. For seven decades, Ameryka-Echo sustained a number of sections based on readers' correspondence, but the most popular of them was a 'Corner for Everybody,' which featured thousands of letters on a variety of topics."