Martin Bútora, Slovak ambassador to the United States, 1999-2003

November 2, 2012

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.

Its author, John Palka, is the grandson of Milan Hodža, Slovak journalist and political leader, Czechoslovak prime minister, opponent of Nazism and Communism, and visionary of European unification. Thanks to personal reminiscences and diaries, historical events take on an intimate quality. From the archives emerge animated participants in the struggle for national and individual freedom, passionate patriots, and loving men and women.

My Slovakia, My Family is not only a unique historical document about the travails and struggles of a small nation, it is also a surprisingly contemporary work that enables the reader to better understand today’s European concerns, crises, and visions of the future – in short, to comprehend the struggle to build a Europe better than the one in which the protagonists of Palka’s book lived and worked.