World: Gierek: Good Will Is Not Enough

After Wladyslaw Gomulka's 1970 ouster as Communist Party Chief, following a disastrous series of riots over food prices, his successor came to power on a wave of popular good will, a man of the people who would change things. As gregarious and outgoing as Gomulka was dour and withdrawn, Edward Gierek began meeting directly with workers to hear their complaints. Time and again he asked: "Will you help me?" Delighted with his down-to-earth style, the workers shouted back: "We will."

Gomulka flirted briefly with liberalization after he was named party boss in 1956,...

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