Kevin McNamara

Kevin J. McNamara

Associate Scholar

Research Areas:

Central Europe, European Union, Russia, Empires vs. Nationalism, International Relations vs. Trans-Nationalism, the Impact of News Media on US Foreign Policy, and US Public Diplomacy

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 M.A. in international politics from Temple University (where he was a student of military historian Russell F. Weigley), as well as a certificate from the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia.A former contributing editor to Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs, he has been published in Academic Questions, The American Spectator, Commentary, Defense News, Historická Revue (Slovak Republic), Military History Quarterly, Modern Age, The National Interest, 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, Hospodářské Noviny (Czech Republic), Newsday, Philadelphia Inquirer, Providence Journal, and Seattle Times. His work has been translated into Korean and has been cited by the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and 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 subsequently acquired and had translated 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 and Slovak Republics, 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

Recent Articles by Kevin J. McNamara:

“Русская «интернациональная» Гражданская война” (“Russia’s ‘International’ Civil War”)The Bulletin of the Laboratory of Ancient Technologies (Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Irkutsk, Russian Federation), vol. 16, no. 3 (Fall 2020).

“European Disunion,” Commentary, vol. 149, no. 1 (January 2020).  Review of The Light that Failed:  A Reckoning, by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes. (Pegasus Books, 2019).

“Fragments of Shattered Empire,” The University Bookman: A Quarterly Review (June 16, 2019).  Review of Last Days in Old Europe: Trieste ’79, Vienna ’85, Prague ’89, by Richard Bassett. (Allen Lane, 2019).

“From Brussels, with Love,” The National Interest, no. 163 (September/October 2019).  Online: “How America’s European Allies Got Stuck in a Foreign Policy Triangle.”

“Milan R. Štefánik: His Under-Appreciated Contributions to Czecho-Slovak Independence,” Kosmas: Czechoslovak and Central European Journal, vol. 2, no. 1 (Spring 2019). 

“Tomas G. Masaryk: A Life at the ‘Bloody Crossroads’,” Academic Questions, vol. 32, issue 1 (March 2019).

“Proč Masaryk a Jeho Spolupracovníci Uspěli” (“Why Masaryk and His Collaborators Succeeded”), Hospodářské Noviny (Czech Republic, October 26, 2018).

“Europe’s Post-Modern Imperium: A Good Divorce Can Beat a Bad Marriage,” The American Spectator (October 18, 2018).