During World War I and the Russian Revolution, a specialized battalion of ethnic Czech and Slovak former prisoners of war--the Legion--became a pawn in an international game of power and deceit. Fighting with hopes of founding a nation, the Legion's heartbreaking detour through Siberia became one of the greatest human interest stories of the war and was chronicled weekly in the New York Times and New York Herald. During their harrowing journey through Siberia, legionnaires grudgingly became protectors of the Russian Treasury and of the Trans-Siberian Railroad while accidentally precipitating the murder of the Russian Royal family. Stripped of their weapons and betrayed by their former allies, over half of the legionnaires lost their lives. For political purposes, tales of the Legion's odyssey have been buried or expunged. This revealing volume offers a thorough account of a once hidden yet epic journey, shedding light on a fascinating but forgotten facet of the first world war.
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Joan McGuire Mohr is a historian specializing in Slavic history and the study of immigrant communities throughout the United States. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh after studying at Charles University in Prague and Comenius University in Bratislava. She lectures on the Legion incident in the United States and throughout Central Europe.Review:
"a good read...recommended"--Choice; "Historian Mohr, who specializes in Slavic studies, spent many years unearthing personal stories and writings, government documents, and photos to shed light on the true significance of the Czech and Slovak Legion. Writing in a lively narrative style, she reveals details of the forced migration of some of the legion members, intertwining history with contemporary efforts of legion members descendants to discover the truth. The book is illustrated with a wealth of b&w photos"--Reference & Research Book News.
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