August 19, 2005
On the occasion of his 75th birthday, the Czechosloslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) has just published a volume of selected writings of Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., who is the Society's current President. It comprises general surveys, essays, reflections and personal insights of the author relating to the history and the contributions of Czech and Slovak immigrants in America and their descendants.
The material covered is based on Rechcigl's extensive research, which he began soon after his arrival in the US in 1950. It encompasses a wealth of information about the Czech and Slovak immigrants in America, from the time of the first known Bohemian who put his foot on American soil toward the end of 16th century, some thirty-five years before the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, MA in 1620, to date. Dr. Rechcigl has always been very intrigued by the life and accomplishments of Augustine Herman, the first historically known Bohemian to permanently settle in America a - the eminent Maryland and Virginia pioneer map maker, the Bohemian Jesuit missionary work in Latin America in the late 17th century, the Moravian Brethren's Diaspora and their cultural contributions to America, and the immigration and the achievements of the Jewish pioneer settlers from the territory of the former Czechoslovakia, which is reflected in the monograph. Covered are also numerous contributions of Czech and Slovaks to the growth and development oi the United States, including science scholarship.
Apart from American ethnic history, Rechcigl has become an authority on the Czech American bibliography and genealogy which is the reason why the editors have also included his writings in this area. It complements the rest of the material remarkably well and enriches its contents and the utility of the volume as a documentary reference.The writings are based on the heretofore unpublished author's manuscripts, as well as on his selected periodical articles and book chapters that have been, for the most part, brought up to date. The volume is supplemented with Rechcigl's biographical sketch and his fascinating and provocative self-assessment "What makes him tick" from his yet unpublished Memoirs, and the listing of his writings relating to the subject of this monograph, as well as articles about him
The monograph is a tribute to Mila Rechcigl for all his work of almost fifty years which he has devoted to building SVU, an international society aimed at the advancement of the Czech and Slovak studies worldwide and the fostering of intellectual collaboration with the Czech and Slovak Republics, which extends to almost fifty fears of his professional life and to his extraordinary scholarship relating to the history and contributions of Czechs and Slovaks abroad.We highly recommend this timely and unique publication to anyone who is interested in the history and contributions of Czech and Slovak immigrants in America. The book is an important source of information much of which has not been generally known.
The book which normally sells for $40, can be purchased by SVU members for $20 plus $5 for postage and handling. Please send your orders with your check to SVU Treasurer Frank Mucha: 36 West 88th St., New York, NY 10024.