Author Robert Coram: "excellent biography"
Available in Polish, April 2011 Click here "po Polsku"
Now in paperback!
Nobel Peace Prize winner, Solidarity leader, Lech Walesa: "This important book familiarizes Americans with a mutual hero who shaped the future of both of our nations, Poland and the United States."
Winner of The 2010
Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award
Alex Storozynski has been awarded the 2010 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award, for The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution. The award is presented each year to the author of the best, newly published work on the American Revolutionary period, combining original scholarship, insight and good writing, published in the preceding year. Part of the mission of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York/Fraunces Tavern Museum is to educate the public about the events of the American Revolution and this award is our small way of saying thank you to an author who chooses to use his or her time and talent to write about this period.
Previous winners of the Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award include: David McCullough, John Adams; Dr. Edwin G. Burrows, Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners during the Revolutionary War; Joseph Ellis, American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic; Mark Puls, Samuel Adams, Father of the American Revolution; Thomas Fleming, Washington’s Secret War, The Hidden History of Valley Forge; David Hackett Fischer, Washington’s Crossing.
Winner of The Templar Military History Award:
"Military Order of Saint Louis"
“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.”
More Praise for The Peasant Prince
"An accessible, soundly researched, English-language biography. With 'The Peasant Prince,' Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Alex Storozynski has filled the void. And what a tale he has to tell . . . a supporting cast that amounts to a Who's Who of 18th-century American and European history."
Aram Bakshian Jr., The Wall Street Journal
"Alex Storozynski has just published “The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution,” a sweeping, colorful, and absorbing biography that should restore Kosciuszko to his proper place in history."
Andrew Nagorski, Newsweek
"A riveting story... Just as Obama’s presidency has Americans rethinking the history of our nation, the new details Mr. Storozynski has unearthed about the American Revolution should change the way Americans look at the birth of our nation."
Andrew Rasiej, The New York Observer
"Thaddeus Kosciuszko led the sort of sweeping life worthy of an HBO miniseries - brilliant military engineer and strategist, freedom fighter, a man who won the trust of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin."
Maria Sciullo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
". . . a marvel: a thoroughly detailed, fast-moving, globe-trotting, name-dropping volume that sets two epic struggles for freedom side-by-side."
Leah DuMouchel, AnnArbor.com
Click to listen to the NPR interview on All Things Considered
WYTV ABC Affiliate in Ohio
After George Washington, there are more statues in the United States of Thaddeus Kosciuszko than any other American historical figure. And every day, millions of TV and radio listeners hear about the traffic jams on the Kosciuszko Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens, as well as the gridlock on the Kosciuszko Bridge north of Albany.
Yet few people know that Kosciuszko gave his salary from the American Revolution to Thomas Jefferson and told him to use the money to buy slaves – and free them.
It was Kosciuszko’s plan for West Point that Benedict Arnold tried to sell to the British, and it was Kosciuszko’s plan to use the high ground at Bemis Heights that allowed the rebels to win the Battle of Saratoga – the turning point of the American Revolution.
In Poland, Kosciuszko started a revolt to try to free the serfs and obtain more rights for peasants, burghers and Jews. To this end, his friend Berek Joselewicz started a Jewish cavalry to fight with Kosciuszko against Russia’s army. It was the first wholly Jewish military unit since biblical times. Even a black man named Jean Lapierre traveled to Poland and joined the battle with Kosciuszko to try to free white serfs.
Kosciuszko also stood up for the American Indians, and was given a peace pipe and tomahawk by Chief Little Turtle of the Miami Indian tribe.
The Peasant Prince is a biography of Kosciuszko, who Jefferson called, “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.”
In his quest for liberty, Kosciuszko worked with George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and the French Revolutionaries while struggling against the tyranny of Russia’s Catherine the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Peasant Prince is the unknown story of Kosciuszko’s life, liberty and pursuit of tolerance during the age of revolution.
So, who was Kosciuszko?
It depends who you ask . . .
Benjamin Franklin put him in charge of building forts in 1776 to protect Philadelphia from the British Army.
Gen. Horatio Gates had him draft the battle plan for the Battle of Saratoga, the turning point of the American Revolution.
Gen. George Washington put him in charge of building West Point.
Benedict Arnold tried to sell those plans for West Point to the British.
Gen. Nathanael Greene called him “a Master of his profession.”
Kosciuszko asked Thomas Jefferson to invest his $12,280 salary from the American Revolution and then use it to buy Black slaves and free them.
Thomas Jefferson called him, “The purest son of liberty I have ever known.”
Jewish Cavalry Leader Berek Joselewicz called Kosciuszko “a messenger from God Almighty.” CLICK HERE to see more on Kosciuszko and the Jews
When Kosciuszko tried to end feudalism and free the serfs of Europe, Russia’s tyrant Czarina Catherine the Great tossed him in prison and called him “a beast.”
After Kosciuszko advocated for Native Americans' rights, Miami Indian Chief “Little Turtle” awarded the Pole with a combination tomahawk peace pipe as a sign of appreciation.
To the French Revolution's Leaders, he was "Citizen Kosciuszko."
Dictator Napoleon Bonaparte called Kosciuszko, “the hero of the North.”
Kosciuszko called Napoleon “the gravedigger of the republic.”
French historian Jules Michelet called him “the last knight.”
John Keats: “Good Kosciuszko, thy great name alone is a full harvest whence to reap high feeling.”
Lord Byron: “That sound that crashes in the tyrant’s ear – Kosciuszko!”
Scottish Poet Thomas Campbell: “Freedom shrieked as Kosciuszko fell!”