Book Talk, Saturday, 2pm, October 26, 2013 at the Slovak Embassy in Washington: John Palka on My Slovakia

On Saturday, October 26, 2013, the Slovak American Society of Washington, D.C., and the Friends of Slovakia present a book talk by John Palka on My Slovakia, My Family: One Family’s Role in the Birth of a Nation, at the Embassy of Slovakia
3523 International Ct., Washington, D.C., at 2:00pm. Admission is free and all are invited.

Part immigrant story and part historical analysis covering a span of 300 years, the new English-language edition of My Slovakia, My Family covers rich historical ground: escapes from Nazism and Communism; heroism during World War II; and the lives of peasants, craftsmen, and leaders who helped shape the nation of Slovakia in the 19th and 20th centuries. The book simultaneously tells the story of the Slovak nation and of John Palka’s extended family, which includes his grandfather, Milan Hodža, the prime minister of Czechoslovakia from 1935 to 1938. John's presentation will emphasize the story of growing Slovak national awareness from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries, to which his ancestors made important contributions.

“My Slovakia, My Family is a heartfelt tale of a nation's struggle to exist and of a family's pivotal role in influencing its destiny. This is a superb memoir and a valuable contribution to our knowledge of twentieth century Europe.” -- Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

In addition to the talk, there will be an award ceremony in which Slovak Ambassador Peter Kmec will present the Prize of Milan Hodža to Dr. Susan Mikula, an American historian of Slovak origin. The Prize of Milan Hodža is awarded in the name of the prime minister of Slovakia to a winner selected by the Days of Milan Hodža organizing committee. Winners are distinguished figures in Slovak academic and public life.

John Palka, Professor of Biology Emeritus at the University of Washington, is a two-time refugee who acculturated to, and built a successful career in, the United States, but who never lost a deeply-felt connection with his Slovak homeland or his facility with the language. Video clips of John’s interview for the Oral History Project conducted by the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library can be see at < http://www.ncsml.org/Oral-History/All-Interviews/20100407/39/Palka-John.... >. Read more about Prof. Palka and his book on his website < http://www.jpalka.com/ >.

Susan Mikula is Professor of History at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. From her dissertation in 1974 up to the present, she has regularly written and lectured about Hodža in international circles. She is the most-highly regarded expert on Milan Hodža outside Slovakia.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Please pass along this information to anyone who might be interested.