Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/24

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The Bohemian Review

government. Inasmuch as the entente can hope for no help from a people which is absolutely dominated by Austria-Hungary and which is even compelled to fight on the Austro-Hungarian side, the declaration as to "Tcheco-Slovaques" is quite unselfish and consistent with the entente’s broad assertion that it is fighting a war of liberation.”

The Cedar Rapids Times also speaks with sympathy of the aspirations of the Bohemians, and hopes that America will support the intention of the Allies to free Bohemia. Occasionally foreign correspondents emphasize the European importance of the Bohemian question. Norman Hapgood in a cablegram, published in the Chicago Tribune, Jan. 28, says that next to the problem of Constantinople “only one other question of geography in Europe has a pressing and unavoidable bearing upon the main plan. That is Bohemia.” Hapgood, however, suggests that certain liberals in England disagree with the program of the Allies for Czecho-Slovak independence and hope to see the Bohemian question solved as a question of home rule.

The best answer to this suggestion is found in an article, published in the London New Statesman, December 9, a month before the Allies came out with their terms. The editor calls special attention to the article on Bohemia and says among other things: “In the earlier stages of the war the national movement of the Czechs was practically unheard of in this country, and to support it was no part of the programme of the Allies. The developments of the past few months, however, have made it a question of crucial importance on which the whole future of “Mittel-Europa” depends. And “Mittel-Europa” means more than most of us have yet realized. There is more than a measure of truth, we believe, in our contributor’s dictum that the international position of Bohemia after the war will be the test of victory.”


Leadership of the New America, Racial and Religious By ARCHIBALD MCCLURE. Geo H. Doran Co. $1.25.

This book is a study of some sixteen racial groups of immigrants, giving an account in broad terms of their organization, leadership and the prevailing movements of the day. The author is a young minister who spent a year after graduating from the seminary in a study of the newer immigration in various sections of the United States. He gathered a tremendous amount of fresh material and shows unusual insight into the inner life of so many races differing from each other in language, degree of education, religion, mental and moral characteristics. Perhaps the chief reason for Mr. McClure’s success in describing the varied currents of life among the immigrants is his sympathetic treatment of them, lacking altogether the calm assumption of superiority exhibited by the average American toward the “Hunkies” and “Ginnies”. He does not hide the immigrant’s faults and vices, but gives him also credit for his good qualities; he emphasizes the undoubted fact that immigrants appreciate better than the native born the ideals and principles of America.

The chapter on Bohemians, the first race treated in this book, gives a very careful account of the location of Czech immigrants in the United States, their religious divisions, their fraternal and athletic organizations, the Bohemian press and the powerful movement organized since the outbreak of the war for the attainment of independence for Bohemia. The chapter dealing with the Slovaks is also written in a sympathetic spirit and with great accuracy as to facts and figures. Here and there one finds little errors of geography and history; Bukovina is not a Hungarian province, Slovakland does not border on Bohemia, for the whole width of Moravia separates them; Bohemia has been under the Hapsburgs since 1526 and not since 1630, although the real loss of its independence is dated 1620, when Czechs were defeated in the battle of White Mountain.

Mr. McClure’s book is to be commended to all Americans who want to know something of the special interests and the separate, racial sentiments of the thirteen million immigrants in the United States.


As we go to press, the break with Germany seems imminent and every one talks of war. If the United States is forced to take a part in the European war, Bohemian speaking citizens and residents of this country will be found in the front ranks of those ready to fight for their country. Bohemian soldier fought in the Civil War, Bohemians volunteered in thousands for the Spanish War, and Bohemians will not be behind Americans of whatever racial stock in their devotion to the land in which they found liberty and prosperity. We are fortunate in that there is no conflict between the affection we feel for our native country and the loyalty we owe to our adopted country. But regardless of any ties still binding them to Europe Bohemians are for America first and are ready to offer every sacrifice of life and property to prove themselves good American citizens.

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