The lost world of Polish publishing and the life of one of its towering figures, Antoni A. Paryski, in a new publication just released by the University of Illinois Press.

Arriving in the U.S. in 1883, Antoni A. Paryski climbed from typesetter to newspaper publisher in Toledo, Ohio. His weekly Ameryka-Echo became a defining publication in the international Polish diaspora and its much-read letters section a public sphere for immigrants to come together as a community to discuss issues in their own language.

The author of the book, Anna D. Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann, mines seven decades' worth of thoughts expressed by Ameryka-Echo readers to chronicle the Polish press's role in the immigrant experience. Open and unedited debate harkened back to homegrown journalistic traditions, and Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann opens up the nuances of an editorial philosophy that cultivated readers as content creators. As she shows, ethnic publications in the process forged immigrant social networks and pushed notions of education and self-improvement throughout Polish diaspora. Paryski, meanwhile, built a publishing empire that earned him the nickname "The Polish Hearst."

Detailed and incisive, The Polish Hearst opens the door on the long-overlooked world of ethnic publishing and the amazing life of one of its towering figures.