Professor Palka’s book My Slovakia, My Family is a fascinating and superbly documented biography of the Hodža and Pálka families’ significant role in Slovak history. It includes dramatic accounts of his family’s escape first from Nazi occupied Europe and then from Communist controlled Czechoslovakia to a new life in America. It provides vivid portraits of courage and love of freedom and country that will resonate with anyone interested in Slovak history and Slovaks in America. Theodore E. Russell, U. S. Ambassador to Slovakia, 1993-1996 Read More »
John Palka, scion of one of the most distinguished families in the history of Slovakia, has written a beautiful account of the history of his family within the context of developments in his ancestral homeland. Incorporating social, cultural, and political history, Palka interweaves a sweeping account of Slovakia over the past several centuries with the story of a family situated at the heart of the major developments and events of that history. . . .
This is a unique book, in which the grand sweep of international history intersects with the personal, in which dramatic milestones of the 19th and 20th centuries alternate with the moving destinies of Slovak families and individuals who changed the face of Slovakia, Czechoslovakia, and Central Europe. . . . Martin Bútora, Slovak ambassador to the United States, 1999-2003 Read More »
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 . . . The book will especially appeal to Slovak-Americans who are seeking to understand their own cultural background on the family level. Diethelm Prowe, Laird Bell Professor of History, Carleton College Read More »