Slovakia on the Road to Independence

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Slovakia on the Road to Independence: An American Diplomat’s Eyewitness Account

“Drawing on his experiences as the senior U.S. diplomat stationed in Bratislava before and immediately after Slovak independence, Paul Hacker provides a fascinating account of Slovakia’s ‘velvet divorce’ from its Czech partner and its challenging early development as a newly independent democracy seeking to integrate into the trans-Atlantic community.”
THEODORE E. RUSSELL, first U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia (1993-1996)

In Slovakia on the Road, Paul Hacker tells of volatile political changes and intrigues; administrative challenges of operating a small diplomatic outpost in Bratislava and its dependence on the embassy in Prague; Slovak-Czech and Slovak-Hungarian minority tensions; the legacy of the Holocaust; the final move to independence; and postindependence Slovakian political history.


Dr. Paul Hacker’s Foreign Service career extended from 1973 to 2003. In 1990–92 he was principal officer of the U.S. Consulate General in Bratislava, then chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Slovakia when that country gained its independence in 1993.

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by Paul Hacker
Foreword by Claiborne Pell
Pennsylvania State University Press, April 2010
248 pp, 20 illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Cloth $65.00 (members' price $52.00)

"One crucial period of Slovak History, 1990-1993, is often neglected when Western commentators analyze all that came after. The reason for the omission is simple: there were almost no foreigners in Slovakia to observe it. Paul Hacker was there. This book is living history, with reminiscences ranging from insights into the background of politically crucial events to accounts of the travails of a diplomat's everyday life in a state newly emerged from communist rule. All are fascinating."
KAREN HENDERSON, University of Leicester