The Peasant Prince
Thaddeus Kosciuszko and 
 the Age of Revolution
By Alex Storozynski

" ... a sweeping, colorful, and absorbing biography." 

Andrew Nagorski, Newsweek


"With 'The Peasant Prince,' Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Alex Storozynski has filled the void. And what a tale he has to tell." 

Aram Bakshian Jr., The Wall Street Journal


"The riveting story of an engineer whose military strategy led to the triumph at the pivotal Battle of Saratoga, and his forging of West Point as the impregnable fortress that Benedict Arnold tried to sell to the British. This engrossing biography offers new details on the roles of Africans, Jews, Native Americans, peasants and women during the revolutionary struggles of 18th-century America and Europe."

Andrew Rasiej, The New York Observer


No wonder there's a bridge named in his honor... Imagine how famous he'd be if Americans could actually spell his name. With "The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution," Alex Storozynski finally gives the colorful Polish general the sweeping biography he deserves."

Ellis Henican, Newsday


Prize-winning journalist Storozynski pulls military strategist and engineer Thaddeus Kosciuszko (1746–1817) back from the brink of obscurity by including almost every documented detail to create the first comprehensive look at a man who once famously symbolized rebellion. His were the plans sold to the British by Benedict Arnold. And Kosciuszko’s years of devotion to the American cause framed his efforts to transform Poland into a self-governing republic freed from the oversight of Russia’s interests. He antagonized Catherine the Great and, later, Napoleon. Kosciuszko rallied the first Jewish military force since biblical times to fight for Polish independence, and consistently supported equality and education for peasants, Jews, Muslim Tatars and American slaves—which earned him the devotion of the masses and lectures by the upper classes. Readers of military and American history should take note: the minute details will enthrall devotees. Casual readers will benefit from Storozynski’s expert crafting of a readable and fact-filled story that pulls readers into the immediacy of the revolutionary era’s partisan and financial troubles. 

Publisher's Weekly


Storozynski has written a complete biography of a truly great republican. Strongly recommended for both lay readers and specialists."

David Lee Poremba, Library Journal


Pulitzer winner crafts book on legendary hero Kosciuszko

New York Daily News


Thaddeus Kosciuszko more influential than Casimir Pulaski

Chicago Sun Times


Although he isn’t as celebrated as Pulaski or Von Steuben as a foreign fighter for American independence, Kosciuszko made contributions that were at least as significant... This is a well-written tribute to an interesting and certainly admirable man. 

Jay Freeman, Booklist


In The Peasant Prince, Alex Storozynski fills a gap in our picture of the American Revolution, and relates it to the worldwide struggle for freedom. Thaddeus Kosciuszko was a noble soul with few options, a friend of liberty in an age of aggression and tyranny. Storozynski shows how he navigated a life of romance and realpolitik, keeping his principles intact.

Richard BrookhiserSenior Editor of National Review, Author of What Would the Founding Fathers Do?


Alex Storozynski’s book about Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a hero of the United States and Poland, is written from a perspective of today’s times and shows us a Kosciuszko who loved freedom for all people and nations. The Peasant Prince is an objective history that is needed in today’s America and Poland. The hero of Alex’s book is one of the fathers of modern democracy in the same mold as Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Lincoln.

Adam Michnik, Solidarnosc activist
 Editor in Chief, Gazeta Wyborcza


A Real American Hero: A biography of the least-remembered American Revolution military hero

Nick Broad, New York Press


I highly recommend Alex Storozynski’s biography: The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution. It is a scholarly work with new information written with a fresh approach. As a first generation Polish-American, I was pleased to learn that George Washington credited Kosciuszko with turning the tide of the American Revolution at the Battle of Saratoga. As a recipient of a Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarship in 1936, I learned more about Kosciuszko at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. My studies in Poland convinced me that war was imminent and I entered West Point in 1937. There I learned that Kosciuszko constructed the forts on the Hudson River that became the United States Military Academy. Storozynski is the first writer to point out that it was Kosciuszko’s plans for West Point that Benedict Arnold tried to sell to the British. Today a majestic statue and garden at West Point honor Kosciuszko. A friend of Thomas Jefferson and the authors of the Federalist Papers, Kosciuszko was not only a hero of the American Revolution, but a soldier/statesman who fought for Polish independence. Alex Storozynski’s book provides further insights into the debt that lovers of freedom owe this noble character

 Lt. General Edward Rowny, U.S. Army, (Retired)
Graduate of West Point, 1941
Rep. Joint Chiefs for SALT II, Geneva, 1973-1979


In a meticulously researched work, Storozynski greatly enhances our understanding of Kosciuszko’s personality and motivations by investigating the Pole’s relationship and feelings toward Africans, Jews and peasants. His contribution advances our knowledge of this complex character who Jefferson considered the “purest son of liberty” he ever knew.

Prof. James Pula, Purdue University, Author of Thaddeus Kosciuszko: Purest Son of Liberty


Tapping new sources in archives in Poland and Switzerland, Alex Storozynski provides a fresh perspective on Thaddeus Kosciuszko, the Polish engineer most responsible for the construction of Fortress West Point, General Washington's "key of America."

Colonel James M. Johnson, U.S. Army, (Retired), Military Historian of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, and former Chief of Military History,  U.S. Military Academy at West Point


Alex Storozynski's book provides not only an engaging story of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, but also a fresh look at many other issues. For me the most interesting was author's sensitivity to the importance multiethnic and multicultural relations in the late-eighteenth-century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This found best expression in a fascinating story of Berek Joselewicz and other Jewish participants of the Kosciuszko insurrection.

Dr. Marcin Wodzinski, Center for the Culture and Languages of the Jews at Wroclaw University
Author of Hasidism and Politics: The Kingdom of Poland, 1815-1864


This excellent work about Tadeusz Kosciuszko reveals a man of great integrity, compassion, a son of liberty and a devoted champion of the poor and oppressed. The legacy of many of the Founding Fathers was tainted by their willingness to hold slaves, even though they were patriots and men in search of liberty. I am amazed that Kosciuszko's will and commitment to freedom remained so strong in the midst of so many great men. The Peasant Prince is a testament to a great man and an important addition to world history.

Byron E. Price, Associate Professor, Texas Southern University, Author of Merchandizing Prisoners: Who Really Pays for Prison Privatization?


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