Man for All Seasons

Mieczyslaw Rakowski, the Deputy Premier who has emerged as a trusted associate of General Wojciech Jaruzelski's, is one of the country's ablest and most prominent figures, yet remains one of the most enigmatic. In his 24-year career as editor in chief of the weekly newspaper Polityka, Rakowski, 55, projected the image of that rarest of Communists: a candid advocate of political and economic reform. He was also a link to the West, a charming, multilingual bon vivant who always found time for foreign visitors, especially journalists.

Now, to the surprise of many Westerners who...

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