Diethelm Prowe, Laird Bell Professor of History, Carleton College

November 2, 2012

My Slovakia, My Family is a fascinating, personalized look into Slovak history through the fortunes of the family of Milan Hodža, the last Prime Minister of interwar Czechoslovakia and arguably the most prominent statesman of modern Slovakia. The author, Slovak-American grandson of Hodža, skillfully explores the evolution of Slovak nationhood through the deep roots and lineages of his family, reaching back to the seventeenth century. The fact that he was able to identify several illustrious poets and intellectuals among his forbearers enabled him to construct an impressively complete and representative cultural history of the emerging Slovak nation.

While the book’s focus always remains on the family level, the author’s command of the general historical sources is impeccable. This permits him to make important contributions especially to Czechoslovak history in the fateful 1930s and 40s, which has been singularly dominated by the partisans of Edvard Beneš. The book will especially appeal to Slovak-Americans who are seeking to understand their own cultural background on the family level.