The Emperor and the Peasant
Two Men at the Start of the Great War and the End of the Habsburg Empire
In stock (can be backordered)
About the Book
There was more to World War I than the Western Front. This history, presented as two intertwined narratives in alternating chapters, juxtaposes the experiences of a monarch and a peasant on the Eastern Front. Franz Josef I, emperor of Austria-Hungary, was the first European leader to declare war in 1914 and the first to commence firing. Samuel Mozolák was a Slovak laborer who sailed to New York—where he fathered twins who were taken as babies (and U.S. citizens) to his home village—before being drafted into the army and killed in combat.
The author interprets Franz Josef’s view of the war from the perspective of the emperor and his contemporaries, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II. Mozolák’s story depicts the life of a peasant conscript in an army staffed by aristocratic officers, and illustrates the pattern of East European immigration to America. Both stories are enlivened with references to the art and culture of the period.
About the Author(s)
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: 66 photos, 14 maps. notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
Book Reviews & Awards
“a unique, eye-opening approach…the author pelforms an outstanding round-up of the existing literature on the Habsburg Monarchy, from the old classics like Wickham Steed to the latest.”—Geoffrey Wawro, A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire; “This wonderful book explores oft-neglected history and is enlivened by a family story that exemplifies the lives of many immigrants from Central Europe. Read it for vivid insight into a complex time still relevant today.”—John Palka, author of My Slovakia, My Family; “A unique, engaging account of World War I as seen through the eyes of both the Austro-Hungarian emperor and one of his Slovakian peasants—a fascinating read combining geopolitics, class, ethnicity, and personal history.”—Bernard Tamas, Valdosta State University.