IN THE COMPANY OF HEROES:
The greatest adventure of the 20th Century.
While studying for a PhD in History at the University of Washington, I was offered the first opportunity to view a private collection of World War I memorabilia which had been sequestered in closed stacks for fifty years. Searching through this historical treasure chest, I was privy to private diaries, war memoranda, secret orders, letters, and eyewitness accounts from the most turbulent period in the twentieth century: 1914-1920 the years encompassing World War I, Lenin’s Revolution, the Russian Civil War; and the little known, War of the Interventionists, which saw the United States, Britain and France secretly invade their ally, Russia, in an attempt to thwart Bolshevism.
After twenty-four years of research, the story unfolds as we follow what happens to three young people when their newly won careers are torn from them at the outbreak of war in Europe.
This epic story of love and escape is complex, and at times challenging to propagandized doctrine, but every situation is accurately framed within well-researched historiography. Personal anecdotes within the novel have been authenticated – as incredible as they may seem. I was able to interview eyewitnesses such as Alexander Kerensky, the last elected premier of Russia, and Dr. Lister Rogers of Stanford University.
The novel has been reviewed by Czech authorities, including: President Vaclav Havel; Consul-General Miroslav Hermann; Czech author Jan Drabek; as well as Dr. Payne and Dr. McNaughton, both U.S. military historians from the Monterey Presidio and Defense Language Institute.
The only fiction in this novel lies with the three main characters who are composites. All other characters are presented accurately: Lenin, Kerensky, Churchill, President Wilson, Grand Duchess Marie, Czar Nicholas, Generals Gaida, Syrovy, Kechek, Graves, and Admiral Kolchak. The repercussions of their actions still resonate in the 21st century.
KATYA KAZAKOVA is a bold, twenty year old woman from Kiev. Bright and independent, her talents are recognized by an invitation to serve the Czar of Russia as an actuary for the Royal Treasury. Her future seems assured. Once in St. Petersburg however, she is caught up in the turbulence of war. She and her friend, Grand Duchess Marie Romanova, struggle against the disintegration of their world.
ALEX BRANDA is an idealistic student leader from Charles University who is conscripted into the Austrian army along with his football friends and sent to the Russian front. He meets Katya, but is determined not to allow their friendship to distract from his duty as pledged to his father.
VICTOR LINDAL is a likable engineering student from Stanford University. He is anxious to travel in Europe, and so, although the United States has a strict policy of isolationism, he joins the National Guard in the hope that one day he might go to Russia as a multi-lingual Intelligence officer. A womanizer, he is shattered to find himself falling in love for the first time, with Katya, the fiancé of Alex, the man who has rescued him from the bandit Grigor Skipetrov.
GENERAL JAN SYROVY is a man's man. Fond of drink and good food, he is more importantly fond of life. As leader of the Czech Legion trying to escape Russia, he must help his young charges cross the political minefield of: Lenin's Revolution, the Red and White Civil War, and the invasion of Soviet Russia by the United States, France, Britain, and Japan.
Czar Nicholas II and the Czarina, with their children in 1914.