There is a wealth of informative material in the pages of this book about the heritage of a small but important group of Americans –immigrant Serbs and their descendants. Of particular interest to the younger generations of the latter group, but also to Americans generally, will be the clear and succinct history of the struggle of Serbia and the Serbs for freedom and democracy depicted on the following pages. The discussion of Serbian values, customs, mores, and their aspirations and struggles provides much that is exciting and stimulating for anyone who believes in freedom. Without doubt, this work will stimulate the reader to seek additional information about Serbia and the Serbs.
Part I deals with the history of the Serbs and their political and religious leaders. There is a rich and interesting detail that is not easily available elsewhere in English. Of particular significance in Serbia’s long struggle for freedom and independence is the role of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the preservation of a sense of national identity and in the transmission of the nation’s cultural heritage. Part II is concerned with immigration and settlement of Serbs, with problems of adjustment, and with some note of the contributions to American life of certain Serbs and their descendants. Part III focuses on the Serbian community in Cleveland, Ohio —where they live, the professions they follow, as well as their organizational life and activities.
This, and Volume II on Serbian Art, is the work of four authors. Together they have made an important contribution that serves to forge ties between the old and the new, between new generations of Americans and their ethnic forebears, leading to a better appreciation of what America is and how it achieved its greatness.
Alex N. Dragnich
Professor of Political Science