President Lech Kaczynski gives President Barack Obama
A copy of Alex Storozynski's book on Kosciuszko,"The Peasant
Obama gets book on Kosciuszko
Lech Kaczynski sat next to President Barack Obama
yesterday at a luncheon in New York where world leaders were gathered for
the UN session of the General Assembly.
The Polish Press Agency reported: "During his meeting with Barack
Obama, President Kaczynski gave him a copy of Alex Storozynski's book
about Thaddeus Kosciuszko." (The Peasant Prince).
President Kaczynski expressed his disappointment over Obama's decision to
scrap a plan by former President Bush to place a missile shield in Poland. The timing of Obama's announcement upset Poland and Polish Americans because it
came on Sept. 17, the 70th anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland at the beginning of World War II. Russian troops occupied Poland for the next five
decades, and did not withdraw until after the Cold War.
Poles believe that the insensitive timing of this announcement shows that
Obama does not understand Poland.
Kaczynski gave Obama a copy of, The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus
Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution, with an inscription from the
author which said, "To President Obama, May Kosciuszko inspire you
to learn more about Poland, the country whose motto is, For Your Freedom
The Peasant Prince outlines Kosciuszko's pivotal role in the
American Revolution and his efforts to spread that democratic revolution
to Europe. In addition to fighting to overthrow the British monarchy in
the United States, Kosciuszko championed the rights of black slaves in America, white serfs in feudalistic Europe, Jews, women, Native Americans and all people who were
disenfranchised. His motto was, "For your freedom and ours."
Kosciuszko took another American President to task, for owning slaves. Kosciuszko
became close friends with Thomas Jefferson, the man who wrote, "All
men are created equal." After serving as a General in the American
Revolution, Kosciuszko gave his salary of $17,000 from the Continental
Army to Jefferson and asked him to buy slaves and free them, and to
educate these free black men, and to buy them land, cattle and farming
tools so they could earn a living as free "citizens."
While Jefferson took the money - he refused to carry out the deal that he
made with Kosciuszko to free slaves.
Unfortunately, most Americans only know Kosciuszko as a brand of mustard,
a bridge in Brooklyn, or the town in Mississippi where Oprah Winfrey was
born. But he was a true American hero.
Kosciuszko joined the Continental Army in 1776, and after building forts
near Philadelphia; he devised the strategy for the Battle of Saratoga -
the turning point of the American Revolution.
Kosciuszko also drafted the blueprints for West Point and built the
fortress that Benedict Arnold tried to sell to the British.
Jefferson said of Kosciuszko: "He is as pure a son of liberty, as I
have ever known, and of that liberty which is to go to all, and not to
the few or rich alone."
The Peasant Prince to
receive "Military Order of Saint Louis"
Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (the Knights Templar) has
announced that it will award the Military Order of Saint Louis to Alex
Storozynski for The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and The Age of
Brigadier General John T. Digilio, Jr., Chancellor of the Templar Priory
of Saint Patrick in the Hudson Valley of New York, said: "It is the
purpose of the revived Military Order of Saint Louis in the United States
to annually recognize an author either for an individual work of military
and/or naval history or literature, or for a body of such work."
"In this quadricentennial of the Hudson River, the author whose
outstanding work of military history stood out above all others - in a
field noteworthy for its excellence, was Alex Storozynski's The Peasant
Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution, about the Polish
engineer who, on his own initiative, bound his fate with that of the
cause of American Liberty, and who is responsible for the fortification
of West Point, key to the strategic Hudson River."
Previous recipients of the revived Military Order of Saint Louis include:
James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers
Thomas Fleming, The Duel and other works
Philip Caputo, Rumor of War
Colonel David Fitz Enz, Why a Soldier and The Final Invasion
Colonel Charles Waterhouse, Marines and Others and Delta to DMZ
Samantha Power, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide *
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction
Don Troiani, Don Troiani's Civil War
Colonel John Grider Miller, The Bridge at Dong Ha
* Winner of the General Wallace M. Greene, Jr. Book Award from the Marine
Corps Historical Foundation
Jason Conroy, Heavy Metal: A Tank Company's Battle to Baghdad
Major Seán Michael Flynn, The Fighting 69th: One Remarkable National
Guard Unit's Journey from Ground Zero to Baghdad
The presentation will be conducted on Oct. 15 in Chappaqua, New York
at Crabtree's Kittle House,
11 Kittle Road.
Reservations, call (914) 941-2118