James Mace WardPriest, Politician, Collaborator: Jozef Tiso and the Making of Fascist Slovakia

Cornell University Press, 2013

by Amanda Jeanne Swain on December 25, 2014

James Mace Ward

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Eastern European Studies] In his biography of Jozef Tiso, Catholic priest and president of independent Slovakia (1939-1944), James Ward provides a deeper understanding of a man who has been both honored and vilified since his execution as a Nazi collaborator in 1947. Priest, Politician, Collaborator: Jozef Tiso and the Making of Fascist Slovakia (Cornell University Press, 2013) is also a fascinating look at Catholicism, nationalism and human rights as moral standards in 20th century East Central Europe. The book explores both the political and social contexts that shaped Tiso and the choices he made in attempts to shape the country in which he lived – whether Habsburg Hungary, interwar Czechoslovakia or a Slovak republic.  Ward reveals, as well, how the fight over Tiso’s legacy in post-communist Slovakia mirrored the polarization of Slovak politics at the end of the 20th century.

Priest, Politician, Collaborator was the 2014 Honorable Mention for the Reginald Zelnik Book Prize in History from the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies.

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