For a better part of its history, Poland's destiny has often been strongly influenced, if not determined, by actions of its neighbors. From the west, Germans often advanced eastward; from the east, Russians, and later Soviets, expanded toward the west. In both cases, Poland was in their path. Yet, despite attempts by others to integrate or divide Poland, its people managed to overcome countless obstacles, preserve their ethnic identity and unity, and remain independent. In that process, Poland has appeared as a country in transition, a country on a journey without an entirely clear final destination. Today, the country may finally find the long-awaited peace and prosperity as Poland serves as a member of the European Union, especially if the dream of a unified, boundaries-free Europe becomes a reality. In "Poland", readers will discover this land's rich culture, storied history, and present-day political and economic situations.