The Emperor and the Peasant: Two Men at the Start of the Great War and the End of the Habsburg Empire

By
Kenneth Janda
Publisher
McFarland
Release Date
Number of Pages
287
ISBN
978-1476669571

There was more to World War I than the Western Front. This history 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 was the first to commence firing. Samuel Mozolak was a Slovak laborer who sailed to New York--and fathered twins, taken as babies (and U.S. citizens) to his home village--before being drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army and killed in combat.
The author interprets the views of the war of Franz Josef and his contemporaries Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II. Mozolak's story depicts the life of a peasant in an army staffed by aristocrats, and also illustrates the pattern of East European immigration to America.

Review
"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; "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, eye-opening approach...the author performs 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.

About the Author
Kenneth Janda, Payson S. Wild Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University, received the Frank J. Goodnow Award from the American Political Science Association in 2009. He has authored or edited several books on computer methods of data analysis, the cross-national study of political parties, and American government. He lives in Roseville, Minnesota.