Kevin J. McNamara, an FPRI Associate Scholar, is a former journalist for Calkins Media Inc. and a former aide to U.S. Congressman R. Lawrence Coughlin. He earned the B.A. in journalism and the M.A. in international politics from Temple University (where he was a student of noted military historian Russell F. Weigley), as well as a certificate from the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia Law School. A former contributing editor to Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs, he has been published in journals such as The American Spectator, Commentary, Defense News, Military History Quarterly, Modern Age, National Review Online, Russian Life, Society, The University Bookman, and The World & I, as well as in the Chicago Tribune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Detroit News, Newsday, Philadelphia Inquirer,Providence Journal, and Seattle Times. His work has been translated into Chinese and has been cited by the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and by the U.S. Commission on Broadcasting to the People’s Republic of China. He is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the East.
In 2016, McNamara’s narrative history of one of the wildest misadventures of the modern era, Dreams of a Great Small Nation: The Mutinous Army that Threatened a Revolution, Destroyed an Empire, Founded a Republic, and Remade the Map of Europe, was published by Public Affairs. McNamara first learned of this tale during a journey across eastern Siberia shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, when he traveled more than 2,000 miles along the Trans-Siberian Railroad. He was subsequently awarded research grants by the Earhart and Tawani Foundations to acquire and translate more than 100 first-hand accounts of this tale of an unlikely army that trekked across Siberia at the end of the First World War, only to become enmeshed in the Russian Civil War. These first-hand accounts by members of the “Czecho-Slovak Legion” emerged from Prague after the collapse of its communist regime and have never before been rendered in English.
The book has met with high praise in reviews in the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, and United States. Publisher’s Weekly calls McNamara’s book a “captivating narrative history . . . McNamara proves to be a great storyteller.” Kirkus Reviews calls Dreams of a Great Small Nation “Extraordinary . . . McNamara, an impressive storyteller armed with a treasure of documents only recently available, ably narrates the remarkable feats of these men who fought every inch of the way . . . a fantastic addition to the shelves of World War I histories.” The Library Journal says he “shares a valuable story that is relatively unknown and understood in the West.” Below are links to the entire Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly reviews of Dreams of a Great Small Nation.