Kevin J. McNamara followed the path taken by the Czecho-Slovak Legion shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, traveling almost 2,000 miles along the Trans-Siberian Railway. He was subsequently awarded research grants by the Earhart and Tawani Foundations to acquire and translate from Czech to English first-hand accounts by the men who had served in the legion, which were published in Prague in the 1920s but were suppressed following the Nazi and Soviet conquests of Czecho-Slovakia.A former journalist for Calkins Media Inc., and a former aide to the late U.S. Congressman R. Lawrence Coughlin, McNamara is an Associate Scholar of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, PA and a former contributing editor to its quarterly journal, Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs. He earned a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in international politics from Temple University, where he was a student of the noted military historian, Russell F. Weigley. He lives in Glenside, PA. Follow him at kevinjmcnamara.com.
"An epic story unknown even to many World War I history buffs...With admirable energy [McNamara] has assembled the story by piecing together archival records and the memoirs of the gallant men who served in the rejuvenated Czech Legion during the fateful spring and summer of 1918...A fascinating narrative." --Wall Street Journal "This incredible story lives up to its billing. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about it, though, is that it's a fable that's remained largely untold. Until now...A captivating tale, brilliantly told." --History of War "Extraordinary... McNamara, an impressive storyteller armed with a treasure of documents only recently available, ably narrates the remarkable feats of these men who fought every inch of the way... A fantastic addition to the shelves of World War I histories." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review "In this captivating narrative history, foreign policy scholar McNamara reveals the obscure yet grand story of how a small, motley, and hastily organized army ushered in the founding of the nation of Czechoslovakia." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "A valuable story that is relatively unknown and understood in the West... McNamara's work presents a vital first entry that opens the doors on this integral part of World War I history and the shaping of the Soviet-influenced Eastern European political and social fabric." --Library Journal "Kevin J. McNamara highlights this bizarre and heroic story...Much of his extensive source material is only recently available, and he uses it well. The brave misadventures of the Czech Legion deserve the wider recognition this fascinating history should provide." --Shelf Awareness "The saga of the Czech-Slovak Legion is one of the great unknown stories of the twentieth century. Kevin J. McNamara brings these fighters back to life by presenting their firsthand account of their travails in World War I and the Russian Civil War. His engaging and valuable work should be required reading for students of the period--and for anyone interested in stories of hardship and heroism." --Max Boot, author of Invisible Armies