Revolutionary Ideas

Although Kosciusko made his mark on American history in a big way, he is rarely mentioned in traditional American history textbooks. Storozynski's "The Peasant Prince" was released in hardcover last year and just came out in paperback at the beginning of August. He said it's the first book that bridges the gap between Kosiusko's career in the U.S. and Poland.

"He had an unpronounceable name, so he was forgotten [here]. He was a humble guy who didn't seek the limelight," said Storzynski.

Surprisingly, though, while Kosciusko's legacy is not widely documented in words, it is memorialized in stone all over this country and Poland.

"Believe it or not, there are more statues of him in the U.S. than any other historical figure except for George Washington, and people still didn't know who he was," said Storzynski. "There's a statue at West Point, across from the White House, in Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, Boston, St. Petersburg, Fla."

It took Storzynski two years to write "The Peasant Prince" and he traveled to historical archives around the country to read just about every book or document that mentioned Kosciusko. He also re-discovered the Kosciusko Foundation, which has been around for 85 years and that he is now the president of.

"Our foundation gives out scholarships to Polish Americans and I got one 20 years ago. I decided I wanted to give back and do something for the organization," said Storzynski, who previously worked as a journalist in New York City. "It's been a fascinating transition. We promote Polish culture in the U.S., do a lot of programs, have a Chopin contest for kids from music schools, have fundraisers and a museum."

The foundation gives away so much money in scholarships that Storzynski said it's a bit difficult raising enough each year. The profit from any copy of "The Peasant Prince" sold through the Foundation's Web site will go to the organization.

"The Peasant Prince" won five book awards, has garnered widespread critical acclaim and was even given to President Barack Obama by the president of Poland. Visit www.peasantprince.com for more information about the book or to buy it. It can also be purchased on Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.


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