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The new historic epic about World War I. written by Jozef Banáš has reached the bookstores in Slovakia right on time – 100 years after the end of the war.

One of the bestselling and most translated Slovak authors considers his newest work to be a motivational novel.

Bratislava, October 2, 2018 – In Bratislava´s church Klarisky, the Handbell Ensemble Košariská-Priepasné has welcomed the newest literary work about Milan Rastislav Štefánik by performing Beethoven´s Ode to Joy. I Shall Prevail! Štefánik – The Man of Iron Will (published by Ikar) offers the life story of the most significant man of the Slovak nation written by Jozef Banáš. “I have researched intensely for about three and half years reading through 62 books in five different languages. It was a hard job, but I loved it,” the author says. In his meaty novel he has tried to uncover the greatest mysteries of M. R. Štefánik and his life time.

Is Eduard Beneš to be blamed for his death? Was M. R. Štefánik a Freemason? Was he rather a Czechoslovak than a Slovak? How did he impress women and why did he never get married? The reader also gets to know which world record M.R. Štefánik has set, what he has discussed with Leo Tolstoy and why he has not travelled on the Titanic, though it was planned. Furthermore the reader learns about the lost golden treasure of the Russian tsar or why the German secret service has financed the Russian Bolsheviks. “I have been searching for answers to these questions holding tight to the documents which are very close to the truth,” the author has suggested. According to him M.R. Štefánik has accomplished something unimaginable. “A boy from the forgotten region of Kopanice in Upper Hungary has asserted himself in Paris – the centre of the then world,” the author points out about his novel´s hero, a young man of poor family backgrounds from an unknown nation who has become an astronomer and general of one of the top military powers of the world.

One of the bestselling and the most translated Slovak authors considers his latest literary work to be a motivational novel. Among others he describes how M.R. Štefánik has motivated himself and where he has gained his iron will to always reach for the limits of his strength. “He was very confident, and it is one of the main goals of this book to uplift our nation´s self-confidence, mainly among young people,” Jozef Banáš says. The author also mentions M.R. Štefánik´s health problems. “He was ill throughout most of his life. Being constantly under stress he suffered from gastro-intestinal diseases. The novel shows us how to fight illness and overcome obstacles in life. One of M.R. Štefánik´s most beautiful mottos is: With each new challenge my energy to overcome obstacles grows.”

With his novel about the most significant Slovak personality Jozef Banáš wants to arouse positive emotions of love and show a shining example. At the same time he confirms that M.R. Štefánik, a model Slovak patriot, European man and French citizen, has been a sought-after companion.

The literary critic Alexander Halvoník writes about Jozef´s book as being “the one which the Slovak literary world as well as Slovak historiography have been waiting for”. The Slovak Ambassador to France and the European Council, Marek Eštok, has described the novel as “an extremely gripping and interesting view on one of the most fascinating figures of Slovak history”. The literary critic, Martin Kasarda, considers the book to be “a five-hundred-page long opus – a flight over the milestones in M.R. Štefánik´s life”. He calls it a documentary historic epopee. The novel has the potential to become part of cult literature about a national hero of the Slovak, as well as Czech and French nations, as M.R. Štefánik has been a French citizen and general. The following Supreme Allied Commander Marshal Ferdinand Foch´s words are meant for Slovak people: “You do not know whom you had in him.”

The book is a historic fresco describing M.R. Štefánik´s life as well as the events leading up to World War I. The author analyzes the relationships among the political powers France, Great Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia as well as the emerging phenomenon of world politics, the USA. He describes the development on the western and eastern frontlines, depicts the background relations between the allied and central forces.

One week after its publication the book has become a bestseller in Slovak bookstores.

The book launch in Bratislava, Slovakia on October 2, 2018

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