In the fifty years since Seton-Watson and Thomson wrote their
books, an abundant scholarly literature has appeared in English
on the Czechs, the Slovaks, and their German, Jewish, and other
countrymen. This transformation in knowledge occurred neither
smoothly nor rapidly. Americans usually become aware of the
Czechs and Slovaks in time of war or revolution. "Munich 1938"
and "appeasement" are still catchwords for betrayal and
cowardice. The communications media drenched the country with
their coverage of the Soviet-Warsaw Pact invasion of August 1968
that ended the "Prague Spring," and likewise with the overthrow
of communist rule in November 1989. But Czechoslovakia's place in
the spotlight was short-lived. Despite its talented composers and
musicians, noted writers and scientists, and outstanding tennis
players, it is a lesser actor on the world stage. The now sperate
Czech and Slovak republics are undergoing badly needed
modernization of their laws and economics. Transport and
communications were neglected for decades, while today education
and culture are badly pinched by governmental parsimony. While
politics is democratized, the market economy and free enterprise
have widened class differences and stirred envy. The young
generation adapts to the computer age, but nostalgia for
communist paternalism holds the minds of those who benefited
under it and others hurt by the rising cost of living and
changing moral standards.
The two republics lack direct access to the seas. Combined,
their areas equal 49,370 square miles, comparable merely to that
of New York State, which ranks thirtieth amount the fifty states.
Millions of Americans are descended from Czech and Slovak
immigrants or from other nationalities of the former pre-1918
Austro-Hungarian empire. Their ancestral homelands have recorded
histories that date back 1,000 years. The release of Eastern
Europe from communism has sparked interest among Americans of all
backgrounds in visiting Prague, Bratislava, Cracow, and Budapest,
for their historic districts and period architecture. About
20,000 American businessmen, professionals, students, and
expatriates now live in Prague.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, historians of the
Slavs of Central and Eastern Europe have faced professional and
intellectual problems that slowed the development of their field.
Surely no members of the American Historical Association knew
Czech and Slovak when it was founded in 1884 to disseminate the
findings of historical research and promote historical studies.
Most were gentlemen scholars and university professors from well-
to-do families of Anglo-Protestant persuasion. Their knowledge of
the Slavs, such as it was, came through works published in
England, France, and Germany. Post-secondary instruction in Czech
was first offered in 1885 at Oberlin College to facilitate
religious and charitable outreach among immigrants. Instruction
in Slovak commenced in 1909 at the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary
in Springfield, Illinois. By 1930, nine colleges and universities
were conducting classes in the two languages and their
literatures. 3 Between the World
Wars, St. Procopius College and Columbia University also taught
Slovak, but no other post-secondary institution did so until the
1970s. 4 The lack of public demand
and institutional interest had several causes: few job
opportunities for those fluent in Czech and Slovak, the
grammatical and phonetic differences of the two languages from
English, and negative images of Slavs in textbooks, the mass
media, and the popular culture. 5
The pressure on first-generation immigrants to "Americanize" and
on their children to conform to the majority culture also worked
against the perpetuation on the native tongues.
Among a handful of informed writers about the 800,000 Czech and
Slovak immigrants in the United States before World War I were
sociologist Emily Greene Balch and businessman-publicist Thomas
Capek. 6 Professor Robert J.
Kerner, the son of a Chicago editor and publisher of Czech
origin, completed a doctoral dissertation on Bohemian history at
Harvard University in 1914. His was the first work with such a
geographical and topical focus out of 600 dissertations in
history completed since the Ph.D. degree was inaugurated in the
1870s. Others of that genre followed slowly, however. By 1920,
only eighteen doctorates had been awarded for studies on Central
and Eastern Europe and Russia. Another dissertation on Czech
history did not appear until 1930. One on Moravia, the region
east of Bohemia, was completed in 1957, and the first on Slovakia
in 1961. 7
The study of Czech and Slovak history made slight headway within
an emerging overall field of Slavic studies after World War
I. 8 During the war, Allied and
emigre propagandists had hailed the strivings of liberal
nationalists among the Austro-Hungarian Slavs to be free of the
Habsburg dynasty and its faithful supporters among the German and
Magyar nationalities. Several of President Woodrow Wilson's
famous Fourteen Points - the peace program presented to Congress
in January 1918 and accepted by other Allied leaders - advocated
the right to a free and autonomous development for the peoples of
Austria-Hungary and Eastern Europe according to the principle of
self-determination. In some regions, the diverse nationalities
lived so closely together that no perfect boundaries could be
drawn. As a result, self-determination was embodied imperfectly
in the post-war peace treaties; Slavs became dominant majorities
in the newly independent states of Czechoslovakia, Poland, and
Yugoslavia. As United States troops returned home, the attention
of the American public shifted from Europe toward domestic
concerns. The main exception was news about the dramatic and
brutal changes that occurred in revolutionary Bolshevik Russia.
Czech and Slovak immigration to the United States in the 1920s
dwindled sharply. Restrictive laws here and fresh job
opportunities in Europe, as it recovered from war and revolution,
worked in tandem to cut the flow of Slavic newcomers. The
restlessness of the post-war era was manifest in a nativist,
anti-foreign mood with racial overtones. School children were
admonished to disregard their parents' native languages and
master English. The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and the National
Origins Act of 1924 were specifically aimed at reducing the
number of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe, with the
total not to exceed 150,000 annually, and also barred all East
Asians. Czech and Slovak studies must have seemed a quaint
sideline to the historical profession. Its most passionate
scholarly debates concerned who was responsible for starting the
World War (the "war guilt" question) whether "objectivity" or
"relevance" was more vital to scholarship and teaching. 9 For advanced research in the Slavic
countries, one needed funds to travel overseas and the leisure
for extended study in archives, many of which were disorganized
after the post-war changes in boundary and regime. The teams of
historians and geographers that had advised State Department
officials at the Paris Peace Conference, including the most
influential one called the Inquiry, were disbanded. Those who
were on leave from their academic positions returned to their
campuses, and others to private life. Despite these conditions,
the dawn of a new age for Slavic studies was on the horizon.
An address by Professor Robert W. Seton-Watson at the annual
meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA) became a
major catalyst for the promotion of Slavic studies in the United
States. For the first time since the AHA was founded, the Slavs
were to be the sole topic at one of its sessions, this time in
Richmond, Virginia, December 1924. An overflow crowd attended a
"Slavonic lunch" to hear Seton-Watson, holder of the Masaryk
Chair of Central European History in London University and the
English-speaking world's premier authority on the Czechs and
Slovaks. Breathing optimism and goodwill, he proposed a
transatlantic partnership between the scholars of the two
English-speaking peoples to encourage teaching, research, and
publication on the Slavs. He suggested new grammars and
dictionaries and improved instruction for the training of
qualified graduates. On behalf of the British Slavists, several
of whom had accompanied him to Richmond, he offered the Americans
full and equal participation on The Slavonic Review, a learned
journal whose contents and circulation the School of Slavonic
Studies wished to expand.
Seton-Watson conceded that a special problem confronted American
Slavists: enormous physical distances that separated them from
each other and from the Slavs in Europe. He observed, however,
that the Americans had "one immense advantage, in the presence of
very large Slav colonies" in American cities. These provided
researchers with the opportunity to study their cultures and win
their support for scholarship on the Slavs. He predicted the
field would attract some university students to whom making money
was secondary to love of learning. The six-year old Czechoslovak
republic earned his special praise for its "remarkable
experiment" in educating young exiles from Russia who might
someday return to lead "a really free Russia." 10 He prophesied an era when Anglo-Saxon-
Slav cooperation would be a decisive force for world peace and
The AHA luncheon session was chaired by Professor Archibald Cary
Coolidge of Harvard University, the pioneer and foremost advocate
of Slavic studies in the United States. 11 The session had been arranged by
historians who once were his students or had served with him on
The Inquiry and other diplomatic missions he undertook for
American officials at Paris. These men included Professors Arthur
I. Andrews (Tufts), Robert H. Lord (Harvard), and Robert J.
Kerner (Missouri). None was more conscious than Coolidge of the
difficulties in implementing Seton-Watson's far-reaching
proposals. Coolidge knew the conservatism of university
administrators toward increased budgets for innovative
curriculums and research. For years he had spent his personal
funds to introduce courses, hire faculty, and acquire books for
the Harvard libraries. Besides, the Slavists were struggling for
a place in the academic sun at a time when the American
historical profession was struggling to define its specific role
in higher education. Since the 1880s, it had evolved from a group
of learned amateurs and undergraduate instructors into a
nationwide guild of trained scholars with specific criteria for
membership, of which the doctoral degree was primary. 12 Measured against the historians of the
United States and specialists in Greece, Rome, and Western
Europe, the Slavists were a tiny fraction. In numbers they were
comparable to the handful who promoted other new fields such as
intellectual history and Asian studies.
Primary source materials on the Czech, Slovaks, and other
nationalities were little known and widely scattered, forming a
major obstacle to Slavic studies. Professor Kerner had detailed
the problems of bibliography in two trail-blazing works published
during the war. 13 Similarly,
Professor Arthur P. Coleman (Columbia) warned that "whoever
engages in Slavic research is obliged to be his own
bibliographer." 14 Systematic
collection building of Slavic materials was gathering momentum at
the Library of Congress, the Hoover Institution, Harvard
University, and especially the New York Public Library, but
hardly elsewhere. 15 In 1917, the
Slavonic Division of the New York Public Library contained 24,485
volumes in Slavic and Baltic languages, of which 21,395 were in
Russian, 2,080 in Polish, and only 280 in Czech and
Slovak. 16 Its separate Webster
Branch, on Manhattan's East Side however, held about 15,000 works
in Czech and Slovak, making it the largest vernacular-language
collections outside of Czechoslovakia. 17 At Harvard, Professor Coolidge
singlehandedly began the Slavic collection years before he became
Library Director in 1910. His timely acquisition of rare books
and pamphlets on Slovakia, for instance, had no counterpart in
North America. 18 No great advance
in library holdings of Slavica was to occur until after 1945,
however, when private foundations and the Federal Government,
prompted by fear of the Soviet Union and by imperatives of the
Cold War in Eastern Europe, supplied ample funds for large-scale
Seton-Watson realized that Coolidge was reacting to his
proposals for Anglo-American cooperation with "all the caution of
a real diplomatist." 19 Indeed,
Coolidge believed the Americans were unprepared to share equal
responsibility for The Slavonic Review or to found their own
journal, and definitely incapable of opening a specialized center
like the London School of Slavonic Studies. "Like so many things
in America," Coolidge conceded, "the history of Slavonic studies
has until recently been sporadic and casual." 20
Professor Arthur Andrews explained the restrained American
response as due to the lack of acquaintanceship among the Slavic
historians at Richmond, many of whom were meeting each other for
the first time. He endorsed London, "the Anglo-Saxon-Slavic
capitol," as the logical headquarters for transatlantic
cooperation. 21 Kerner echoed his
colleagues' reticence but was more optimistic than they about the
future. Slavic scholarship was undoubtedly meager, he wrote, but
instruction in the history and languages of the Slavs was growing
so rapidly that no university could proclaim itself to be first-
class unless it offered some courses in the Slavic field. 22
One concrete result of Seton-Watson's speech was that Kerner,
Lord, and Samuel N. Harper (Chicago) agreed to become
contributing editors on The Slavonic Review and to solicit
manuscripts in the United States. "The American end," as Seton-
Watson dubbed them, also named a publications committee to screen
book-length submissions. 23 Beyond
that the Americans would not commit themselves. For example, they
ignored Seton-Watson's suggestion that they make contact with the
"Slav colonies" in the United States. That kind of community
involvement was alien to the historical profession as it was then
conceived. The prevailing view was that a scholar's individual
quest for truth was in itself sufficient justification for
research as a contribution to learning and ultimately to society.
This view also prevailed at the universities in Central and
Eastern Europe. Humanistic scholars who were civically and
politically active were regarded with suspicion by their peers as
demeaning their "calling" and allowing personal biases to enter
into their methodologies. The upper-middle-class and patrician
family backgrounds of most American historians of that era, and
their status as privileged intellectuals, may also have deterred
them from approaching the self-made immigrants in the ethnic
"colonies" for financial and moral support. 24 Not until the maturation of the fields
of immigration history and social history in the 1960s and 1970s,
and of other special fields that viewed history from "the
underside," were these reservations to dissolve.
The most effective emissary to the Slavic communities in the
United States turned out to be Seton-Watson himself. In three
weeks of hectic travel after the Richmond session, he preached
the gospels of expanded Slavic studies and Anglo-American-Slavic
cooperation to groups in Chicago, Cleveland, and New York. They
welcomed him as a longtime loyal friend of the Czechs, Slovaks,
and Yugoslavs from before the war. His path was eased by the
spadework of his illustrious friend, Czechoslovakia's president
Thomas G. Masaryk, who, first as a visiting lecturer, then as a
wartime exile activist, rallied Americans of Slavic descent to
the cause of liberating the small nations of Central and Eastern
Europe. 25 Seton-Watson's appeals
resulted in some new subscriptions to The Slavonic Review, but
not the several hundred he needed to cover the journal's rising
expenses and support issuance of an added number annually. He saw
"the mobilization" of the ethnic communities to be the most
specific result of his visit to the United States, but he did not
neglect the academic intelligentsia. He lectured to the Council
on Foreign Relations and at eight university campuses, from
Chicago to Princeton, on the origins of the World War and the
aims of the Little Entente. 26
Before he had embarked from England for the AHA meeting, Seton-
Watson had written to Stefan Osusky, the Czechoslovak Minister in
Paris. He blithely predicted, on the basis of previous
correspondence with his American colleagues, the The Slavonic
Review is to become henceforth the joint organ of Britain and
America, and we shall start a joint publication fund, and I hope
other lines of communication." 27
The caution and relative backwardness of most American Slavists
became clear to him only after he had met them in person. He was
disappointed by the reluctance of Coolidge and the others to
accept his most important suggestions; he understood their
reasons, but he refused to abandon his hopes. As he wrote to his
wife in England, the Americans had taken "the first plunge" and
they could never turn back. 28
There was no turning back, but neither was there a great leap
forward for Slavic studies or Czech and Slovak history.
Instruction in the Russian language grew steadily, if modestly,
into the 1930s, bolstered by the arrival in the United States of
numerous Russian emigres and the acceptance of Russian culture as
a legitimate part of the curriculum. Soviet Russia's stubborn
resistance, against almost all predictions, to the German
invasion of June 1941, provided added impetus. After the United
states entered World War II in December 1941, hundreds of
soldiers were taught Russian and other foreign languages in the
Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), and many continued
their studies after 1945. To meet a growing demand, Slavic and
Russian institutes, modeled after pioneer programs at Berkeley
and Cornell, were established at Columbia, Harvard, and other
institutions. The launching of the Soviet space satellite Sputnik
in October 1957 further convinced Congress and the Executive
Branch that America's basic interests were being challenged.
Government and foundation grants fueled the expansion of library
holdings and programs of interdisciplinary area studies on many
While Russian studies gained ground, the Czech and Slovak fields
had special problems. One was their complexity. Much of Czech and
Slovak history lay within the frameworks of Austrian, Hungarian,
German, and sometimes Polish history; but South Slav, Russian,
and Ukrainian influences also existed. Between the wars, American
historians evaluated the defunct Austro-Hungarian empire
disdainfully. Coolidge and Lord saw it as an anachronistic, even
artificial structure built on fallacious principles that had
survived until 1918 only through tyranny and the indulgence of
the Great Powers. 30 Their
interpretation dovetailed with that of Czech, Slovak, and other
patriots fighting for their nation's independence and of
politicians and patriotic historians in the new Czechoslovak
state. This onesidedly negative evaluation clouded Habsburg, and
therefore Czech and Slovak, studies into the 1960s. 31 Further, the concept of an "Atlantic
civilization" that was current after World War II excluded
Central and Eastern Europe as the seedbeds of antiliberal ideas,
great wars, and arch-conservative regimes that foreshadowed
Communist and Nazi totalitarianism.
Another problem was the dearth of institutions willing to commit
themselves to Czech and Slovak studies. Coe College in Iowa, a
state with a large immigrant population, was almost a lone
pioneer. A campaign among Czech emigres in the 1920s to found
Komensky College, named after the renowned seventeenth-century
Moravian humanist and educator, was unsuccessful. 32 In the late 1920s, Professor Clarence
Manning of Columbia University sought to establish an Institute
of Czechoslovak Studies along lines resembling the university's
institutes of French, Romanian, Italian, and Spanish culture. He
wanted the new institute to assemble a library, publish articles
and books, and bring "distinguished representatives of
Czechoslovak culture in touch with corresponding American
circles, especially in the University world." 33
Manning's project was endorsed by Nicholas Murray Butler,
president of Columbia, and Zdenek Fierlinger, the Czechoslovak
Minister in Washington, D.C. President Thomas G. Masaryk of
Czechoslovakia agreed to be the Institute's patron. A list of
thirty-five Honorary and Advisory Members included persons
notable in scholarship and public affairs. 34 The idea of one state of two closely
related peoples and cultures that were gradually converging in
their essences - an idea known as Czechoslovakism - pervaded the
enterprise, although later developments were to show it was
antihistorical and unrealistic. Nevertheless, had Manning's
institute come to fruition, it would have fulfilled Seton-
Watson's dream of transatlantic cooperation magnificently. For
reasons unclear, it never began operations. 35 Columbia's interest in Czechoslovakia
was, however, justified in 1946, when the Thomas G. Masaryk Chair
of Czechoslovak Studies was created with the financial support of
the post-war Prague government. The distinguished philologist and
literary scholar Roman Jakobson, co-founder of the Prague
Linguistic Circle, served as its first incumbent. Still, the
failure of Manning's project of twenty years earlier was
emblematic of basic weaknesses that afflicted the field.
The foremost weakness was that the study of Czech and Slovak
history lacked the organization and leadership necessary to
overcome its peripheral status both in Slavic studies and in the
historical profession. Neither Czech nor Slovak historians were
ever sufficiently numerous and concentrated in one department of
a major American research university for it to have emerged as
the pacesetter in the field. The members of such a department
might have published enough significant literature to consolidate
the field and reinforce "the sense of identity of its
practitioners." 36 No university
had the incentive, the interested advanced students, and the
funds to staff such a department. No private benefactor came
forward to endow Czech and Slovak studies, as was sometimes the
case with other nationality groups.
The field also lacked a "towering figure" or two who might have
shaped "an intellectual consensus of what was true and important"
that would be accepted as valid, or as a working model, by their
peers. 37 The ingredients for such
a consensus already existed in Russian history through the works
of such historians as Michael T. Florinsky, Frank Golder, Paul N.
Miliukov, B. H. Sumner, and George Vernadsky. Professor Kerner,
who could have played a decisive role, revised and published his
doctoral dissertation in 1932, but thereafter emphasized Russia
and the Balkans. An approach to a consensus was achieved in a
volume edited by Kerner in 1940, when Bohemia and Moravia lay
under German armed occupation and Slovakia was a separate state.
The volume, titled Czechoslovakia: Twenty Years of Independence,
blended mourning with celebration, and the Czechs got much more
attention than the Slovaks from its twenty co-authors. 38 But it presented the republic's
history in essentials and, with Seton-Watson's and Thomson's
surveys that appeared three years later, formed a triad of
reliable narratives. The implicit mainstream view was that the
interwar republic, with Masaryk as its embodiment, was a logical
culmination of more than a century of national renaissance and
persistent struggle for freedom. The absence of an ideological
division among Anglo-American specialists on Czechoslovakia at
that time ruled out the type of contentious debates over "the
meaning of Czech history" that had raged among Czech historians
since Masaryk's Ceska otazka (The Czech Question) appeared in
Estimable service to Czech scholarship was rendered by S.
Harrison Thomson, a medieval scholar and Bohemist at the
University of Colorado, who founded, edited, and financed the
Journal of Central European Affairs (JCEA) from 1942 to 1964. The
JCEA became the leading American periodical on the region between
Germany and Russia. While excluding Russia and the Soviet Union,
it did not slight the Germans, whose settlers and culture
permeated "the lands between." Apart from Thomson, the sole
expert on Czechoslovakia on the JCEA's editorial board was Otakar
Odlozilik. He was a friend of Thomson's, had visited the United
States in the 1930s, and emigrated from Prague, where he was a
professor of history at Charles University. In 1948, he succeeded
Roman Jakobson in the Masaryk Chair at Columbia University. In
erudition, Odlozilik was unsurpassed. He generously counseled
students, colleagues, and fellow emigres, but he deplored
distractions from his research and writing, and he had no
appetite for organizational leadership in the profession. Until
1955, when he joined the faculty at the University of
Pennsylvania, he lacked the security and peace of mind necessary
for productive scholarship. 40
There were talented scholars among the American specialists on
the Czechs and Slovaks, but no "towering figure" in a class, for
example with John K. Fairbank (Harvard) in Chinese history or
Arthur O. Lovejoy (Johns Hopkins) in the history of ideas. Both
were prime movers in training students and bringing their nascent
fields into the core of historical studies by the 1940s.
Similarly, research on Austria-Hungary benefited from respected
works of synthesis by Arthur J. May (Rochester), Robert A. Kann
(Rutgers), and Carlisle A. Macartney (Oxford) that were completed
after World War II. Even as Thomson was terminating his journal,
Professor R. John Rath and the United States Committee to Promote
Studies of the Habsburg monarchy launched the Austrian History
Yearbook in 1965. It covered the same regions and peoples as the
JCEA, while setting a high standard of editorial quality.
The long running Slavic Review, journal of the American
Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS), which
emphasizes Russia and the former Soviet Union, also publishes
articles on Central and Eastern Europe. Its first issue was
originally planned for 1940, but Sir Bernard Pares in London
requested that it be postponed. He asked the American Slavists to
publish material intended for The Slavonic Review, which could
not appear in England because of the war. 41
In a consummation of one of Seton-Watson's hopes, the American
agreed. They issued Slavonic Year-book, then The Slavonic and
East European Review in an "American Series" until 1944. A year
later, The American Slavic and East European Review began
publication with an Editorial Committee that included Roman
Jakobson, Robert J. Kerner, S. Harrison Thomson, and George
Vernadsky among its sixteen members. It was renamed Slavic Review in 1961. In recognition of changed world conditions, its Winter
1993 issue added a review subtitle: "American Quarterly of
Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies."
In the 1990s, over one-hundred American historians, social
scientists, and literary scholars publish on the history and
culture of the Czechs, the Slovaks, and the other nationalities
that have lived among them. Their numbers are minuscule compared
with the 3,500 members of the AAASS, the foremost body of
American Slavists, but as this bibliography attests, their
research is impressive.
Given the problems facing these scholars, one surmises that they
consider their specialty to be a labor of love. They must know
Czech or Slovak, of course German, sometimes Hungarian and Latin.
French is helpful, and occasionally Russian. They ponder the
meanings of obscure documents in the quietude of secluded
archives. American-born historians are committed because of
family roots or fascination with Czech and Slovak pasts, or
perhaps admiration for an inspiring teacher. Some are attracted
by rural landscapes ornamented with baroque monuments, stucco
homes, and village shrines, now facing up to modernity. Emigre
scholars may seek to clarify the record of events and personages
they knew firsthand.
These are the bonds uniting a small but vigorous community of
historians that began to take shape in the 1920s. In this
admirable volume, Czech and Slovak History: An American
Bibliography by George J. Kovtun, the European Division of the
Library of Congress provides them and the broad public with a
guide to lands and peoples that no longer seem far-away.
STANLEY B. WINTERS
1 R. W. Setson-Watson, A History of the
Czechs and Slovaks (London: Hutchinson & C., 1943; reprinted
Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1965). S. Harrison Thomson,
Czechoslovakia in European History (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1943; 2nd enlarged ed., 1953; reprinted 1965). Back to text..
2 Chamberlain's speech of Sept. 27, 1938, as
quoted in R.G.D. Laffan, The Crisis over Czechoslovakia, January
- September 1938, Vol. 2, Survey of International Affairs
(London: Oxford University Press, 1951), p. 13. Back to text.
3 Arthur I. Andrews, "University Courses
given in the United States of America on Slavic and other Eastern
European History, Languages and Literatures," The Slavonic
Review, 9, 27 (1930): i-xvi. By 1937, the totals were similar.
Ibid., The Slavonic and East European Review, 15, 45 (1937): 1-24
[formerly The Slavonic Review]. Back to text.
4 Ibid., p. 11. George Dolak, A History of
the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States of
America, 1902-1927 (St. Louis: Concordia, 1955), pp. 76-77, 146-
149. M. Mark Stolarik, "A Historical perspective on the Declining
Use of the Slovak Language Over Three Generations in the United
States of America," Kalendar-Almanac for the Year 1990
(Pittsburgh: National Slovak Society, 1990), pp. 65-67. By 1957,
5 American and 2 Canadian institutions offered instruction in
Slovak; Jacob Ornstein, "The Development and Status of Slavic and
East European Studies in America since World War II," The
American Slavic and East European Review, 16, 3 (1957): pp. 369-
388, here p. 377. Back to text.
5 Ronald Smelser, "Czechoslovakia in
American Public Consciousness: Public Awareness and Political
Discourse," in Grossbritannien, die USA und die bohmischen Lander
1848-1938, Ed. Eva Schmidt-Hartmann and Stanley B. Winters
(Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1991), pp. 285-297. Back to text.
6 Emily Greene Balch, Our Slavic Fellow
Citizens (New York: Charities Publication Committee, 1910), pp.
63-119. Thomas Capek, The Slovaks of Hungary: Slavs and
Panslavism (New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1906). Idem, The
Cechs (Bohemians) in America: A Study of Their National,
Cultural, and Political, Social, Economic and Religious Life (New
York, 1912; 2nd ed., Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1920). Back to text.
7 Robert J. Kerner, "Bohemia under Leopold
II, 1790-1792" (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 1914).
Livingstone Porter, "A History of the University of Prague, 1348-
1622" (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1930).
For others, see Warren F. Kuehl, Dissertations in History. An
Index to Dissertations Completed in History Departments of United
States and Canadian Universities, 1873 - June 1970, 2 vols.
(Lexington, KY: The University press of Kentucky, 1965-1972).
Titles of dissertations on Czechoslovakia have been compiled by
Josef Anderle, "American Doctoral Dissertations on Czechoslovak
History and Related Subjects, 1914-1974," Czechoslovak History
Newsletter, 1 (1976): 5-18. Ibid., 6, 1 (1983): pp. 3-4. Ibid.,
11, 1 (1988): pp. 7-9. Back to text.
8 On the early history of Slavic Studies,
see Robert J. Kerner, "Slavonic Studies in America," The Slavonic
Review, 3 (1924): pp. 243-258. George J. Vaskovic, "O slovanskych
studiich ve Spojenych Statech" [Slavonic studies in the United
States], Slovansky prehled 1914-1924. K sedesatym narozeninam
Adolfa Cerneho, Ed. A. Frinta and A. Tichy (Prague: Orbis, 1925):
137-140. Arthur P. Coleman, "Slavonic Studies in the United
States, 1918-1938," The Slavonic and East European Review, 17
(1938): 372-388. Robert F. Byrnes, A History of Russian and East
European Studies in the United States: Selected Essays (Lanham,
MD: University Press of America, 1994). Back to text.
9 Peter Novich, That Noble Dream: The
"Objectivity Question" and the American Historical Profession
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), Ch. 7-9. Back to text.
10 R. W. Seton-Watson, "The Future of
Slavonic Studies. Lecture at the American Historical Association
Meeting, December 30, 1924," Private Papers of R. W. Seton-
Watson, School of Slavonic Studies, University of London, Box
14/4, 13 pp. typescript, provided by Dr. Christopher Seton-
Watson. Robert J. Kerner, "The Slavonic Conference at Richmond
(VA)," The Slavonic Review, 3 (1924): 684-693. Annual Report of
the American Historical Association for the Year 1924
(Washington, D.C.: USGPO, 1929), p. 40. Back to text.
11 Harold Jefferson Coolidge, Archibald Cary
Coolidge: Life and Letters, 1866-1928 (New York: Books for
Libraries, 1971 [reprint]). Robert F. Byrnes, Awakening American
Education to the World: The Role of Archibald Cary Coolidge,
1866-1928 (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame press, 1982). Back to text.
12 John Higham with Leonard Krieger and
Felix Gilbert, History: The Development of Historical Studies in
the United States (Englewood, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1965), pp. 52-
67. David D. van Tassel, "From Learned Society to Professional
Organization: The American Historical Association, 1884-1900,"
American Historical Review, 89, 4 (1984): 929-956. Arthur S.
Link, "The American Historical Association, 1884-1984: Retrospect
and Prospect," American Historical Review, 90, 1 (1985): 1-17. Back to text.
13 Robert Joseph Kerner, Slavic Europe: A
Selected Bibliography in Western European Languages, Comprising
History, Languages and Literatures (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 1918), pp. viii-xi. The volume was dedicated to
Coolidge. Idem, "The Foundations of Slavic Bibliography," The
Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 10, 1 (January
1916): 3-39. Back to text.
14 Coleman, "Slavonic Studies in the United
States, 1918-1939," p. 378. Back to text.
15 Lad[islav] J. Zivny, "Slavica v katalogu
americke knihovni associace [Slavica in the Catalog of the
American Library Association], Slovansky prehled, 8, 8 (1906):
369-373. Jacob Ornstein, "Facilities and Activities of the
Library of Congress in the Slavic and East European Field," The
American Slavic and East European Review, 12, 4 (1953): 549-554.
Robert H. Davis, Jr., "'Indispensable to Students in the Field':
A First History of the Development of the Slavic, Baltic, and
East European Collections of the Research Libraries, the New York
Public Library," L' idea dell' unita e della reciprocita slava e
il suo ruolo nello sviluppo della slavistica, Ed. Sergio Bonazza
and Giovanna Brogi Bercoff (Rome: La Fenice Edizioni, 1992). Back to text.
16 By 1935, Czech and Slovak holdings
totalled 2,844 volumes; by 1945, 3,539; by 1966, 12,124. The New
York Public Library. Slavonic Division (n.p., c. 1975
[brochure]), p. 3. Back to text.
17 Information on the Webster Branch Library
was provided from a draft of a forthcoming article by Robert H.
Davis, Jr. Back to text .
18 Byrnes, Awakening American Education to
the World, p. 123. Back to text.
19 R. W. Seton-Watson, "Private. Notes on
Visit to America (December 1924-January 1925)," 5 pp. typescript,
Private Papers of R. W. Seton-Watson. Back to text.
20 Archibald Cary Coolidge, "American
Slavonic Studies," The Slavonic Review, 3 (1924): 242. Back to text.
21 Letter of Arthur I. Andrews to Sir
Bernard Pares, January 8, 1925. Private papers of Sir Bernard
Pares, CAY, University of London. Back to text.
22 Kerner, "Slavonic Studies in America,"
pp. 246-248. Back to text.
23 Seton-Watson, "Private. Notes on a Visit
to America," p. 2. Back to text.
24 John S. Bassett, secretary to the AHA in
1920, is quoted as having said: "Historical writing has never
been a poor man's pursuit, but always a pursuit of the well-to-do
or well endowed." See Lawrence Neysey, "The Plural Organized
World of the Humanities," in The Organization of Knowledge in
Modern America, 1860-1920, Ed. Alexandra Oleson and John Voss
(Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979), p. 77.
Also William E. Leuchtenberg, "The Historian and the Public
Realm: Presidential Address," American Historical Association
Annual Report 1991 (City of Washington: Smithsonian Institution
Press, c. 1992), pp. 17-38. Back to text.
25 Thomas G. Masaryk, The Making of a State:
Memories and Observations, 1914-1918 (London: George Allen &
Unwin Ltd., 1927), pp. 84-87," where Masaryk uses the phrases
"Czech colonies" and "American colonies." For Masaryk's campaigns
in the United States, see George J. Kovtun, Masaryk & America:
Testimony of a Relationship (Washington, D.C.: Library of
Congress, 1988). Also Jiri [George] Kovtun, Masarykuv triumf:
Pribeh konce velke valky [Masaryk's Triumph: The Story of the End
of the Great War] (Toronto: Sixty-Eight Publishers, 1987), esp.
Ch. 9-12. Back to text.
26 Seton-Watson, "Private. Notes on a Visit
to America," p. 5. Back to text.
27 Letter of Seton-Watson to Stefan Osusky,
November 17, 1924. Back to text.
28 Letter of Seton-Watson to his wife,
December 31, 1924. Back to text.
29 On the wartime and postwar expansion in
Slavic studies, see Oleg A. Maslenikov, "Slavic Studies in
America, 1939-1946," The Slavonic and East European Review, 25
(1947): 528-537. Robert F. Byrnes, "American Publications on East
Central Europe, 1945-1957," in Bibliography of American
Publications on East Central Europe 1945-1957, Ed. Robert F.
Byrnes (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Publications, c.
1958, xv-xxx. William B. Edgerton, "The History of Slavistic
Scholarship in the United States," in Beitrage zur Geschichte der
Slawistik in nichtslawischen Landern, Ed. Josef Hamm and Gunther
Wytrzens (Vienna: Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der
Wissenschaften, 1985), pp. 491-528. Also the critical comments on
Edgerton's essay by Horace G. Lunt, "On the History of Slavic
Studies in the United States," Slavic Review, 46, 2 (1987): 294-
301. Back to text.
30 R. John Rath, "Das Amerikanische
Schriftum uber den Untergang der Monarchie," in Die Auflosung des
Habsburgerreiches: Zusammenbruch und Neuorientierung im Donaraum,
Ed. Richard G. Plaschka and Karlheinz Mack (Munich: R.
Oldenbourg, 1970), pp. 236-248. Idem, "Three Score and Fifteen
Years of Habsburg and Austrian Historiography and a Quarter-
Century of Editing the Austrian History Yearbook," Austrian
History Yearbook, 22 (1991): 1-20. Back to text.
31 David S. Luft, "Austrian History as a
Field of Study in the United States," Modern Austrian Literature,
20, 3-4 (1987): 1-15. Back to text.
32 Kerner, "Slavonic Studies in America," p.
249. A Komensky Chair of Education was founded at Coe College in
1923. Robert J. Kerner, "Slavonic Studies in America," The
Slavonic Review, 3 (1924): 1-16, here p. 5. Back to text.
33 Letter of Clarence A. Manning to R. W.
Seton-Watson, November 29, 1926, Columbia University, Central
Files. Back to text.
34 Among the Honorary Members listed by
Manning were President Nicholas Murray Butler, Edward Benes,
Charles and Richard Crane, Jan Masaryk, R.W. Seton-Watson, Ales
Hrdlicka, Robert J. Kerner, Michael I. Pupin, James T. Shotwell,
and Leo Wiener. "The Institute of Czechoslovak Studies," 3 pp.
undated typescript probably for November 1926, Columbia
University, Central Files. Back to text .
35 Letter to the author, August 18, 1992,
from Manager of University Records, Columbia University. A
parallel American institute proposed to function in
Czechoslovakia at about the same time did not materialize. Robert
F. Byrnes, "The American Institute for Slavic Studies in Prague:
A Dream of the 1920s," in Russland-Deutschland-America:
Festschrift fur Fritz T. Epstein zum 80. Geburtstag, Ed.
Alexander Fischer et al. (Wiesbaden: Otto Harassowitz, 1978), pp.
257-266. Back to text.
36 Edward Shils, "The Order of Learning in
the United States: The Ascendancy of the University," in The
Organization of Knowledge in Modern America, 1860-1920, p. 38.
See also Donald W. Treadgold, "Editorial Note," American Slavic
and East European Review, 20, 1 (1961): 1-5. Back to text .
37 Shils, "The Order of Learning in the
United States," p. 38. Lunt, On the "History of Slavic Studies in
the United States," p. 299, where he uses the term "towering
figure." Kerner identified the "towering figure" problem for
American scholarship on Russian history and Slavic philology when
he wrote sixty years earlier that it "has no yet produced a
Klyuchevsky or a Jagic, nor yet a Mackenzie Wallace or a Leroy-
Beaulieu." See Kerner, "Slavonic Studies in America," The
Slavonic Review, 3 (1924): 7. Back to text.
38 Czechoslovakia: Twenty Years of
Independence, Ed. Robert J. Kerner (Berkeley and Los Angeles:
University of California Press, 1940). On Kerner's career, see
Wayne S. Vucinich, "Professor Robert J. Kerner," California
Monthly, 61, 3 (1950): 12, 37, Bancroft Library C-B 1057, Carton
18, University of California, Berkeley. Joseph F. Zacek,
"Introduction," in Robert J. Kerner, Bohemia in the Eighteenth
Century (Orono, ME: Academic International, 1969 [reprint]), pp.
vii-xv. Back to text.
39 Rene Wellek, "Introduction" in Tomas G.
Masaryk, The Meaning of Czech History (Chapel Hill, NC:
University of North Carolina Press, 1974), vii-xxiii. Milan
Hauner, "The Meaning of Czech History: Masaryk versus Pekar," in
T. G. Masaryk (1850-1937), Vol. 3: Statesman and Cultural Force,
Ed. Harry Hanak (London: Macmillan, 1990, in association with the
School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of
London, 1990), pp. 24-42. Back to text.
40 R. John Rath, "S. Harrison Thomson,"
Austrian History Yearbook, XI (1975): 382-383. Gerald Stone,
"Roman Jakobson," Times Literary Supplement (London), March 2,
1984. Stanley B. Winters, "Otakar Odlozilik's American Career:
The Uneasy Self-Exile of a Czech Historian, 1948-1973," in
Grossbritannien, die USA und die bohmischen Lander 1848-1938, pp.
153-169. Back to text.
41 I. W. Roberts, History of the School of
Slavonic and East European Studies 1915-1990 (London: School of
Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, 1991),
p. 42. The Slavonic Year-Book (American Series I) in 1941; then
as The Slavonic and East European Review (American Series, II and
III) in 1942-1944. Back to text.