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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 08/2016
  • 9780692770108 B01L31ROBC
  • 260 pages
  • $9.99
Hardcover Details
  • 08/2016
  • 978-0-9979938-0-6
  • 260 pages
  • $24.99
Ebook Details
  • 08/2016
  • 978-0-9979938-1-3 B01L31ROBC
  • 260 pages
  • $6.99
Audio Details
  • 09/2016
  • 978-0-9979938-2-0
  • 260 pages
  • $19.99
A Pilgrim for Freedom
How did an eleven-year old boy from the ancient city of Split, on the Adriatic coast, who with his family left almost everything when Nazis and Fascists invaded their homeland at the beginning of World War II, grow up to be a United States soldier and a highly successful American businessman? The answer to that question is the story that Michael Novakovic tells in this poignant and charming memoir, A Pilgrim for Freedom. It is one part the account of a refugee family who barely survived explosions and hunger while seeking safety during World War II, and includes vivid descriptions of the hardships Mike, his siblings, and parents endured. It is another part the story of an immigrant family who came to the United States (by way of Argentina) after the war and with great ingenuity and industry worked their way up to levels of success that had been unimaginable during the darkest days of war. Finally, it is also the chronicle of a loyal and valiant soldier who sought to pay back his debts to the United States for defeating fascism and communism through distinguished service in the U.S. Air Force's intelligence operations. In sum, it is a riches-to-rags-to-riches story that testifies both to the resilience of one man and to the ideals of the nation that inspired him.
Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

KIRKUS REVIEW (Starred Review)

As the rumble of World War II draws closer, a young boy leaves behind his once-comfortable life in Split, Yugoslavia, to embark on a turbulent adventure.

This debut memoir opens in July 1943, with the 11-year-old Novakovic in flight from his hometown, where “the Axis Powers made life impossible for us.” He recalls street executions and even recounts a time when he was shot at on the way home from school. This new existence, lived in perpetual fear, stands in stark contrast to his past, when he would explore the catacombs beneath the Diocletian Palace, a part of which was owned by his wealthy family. He describes his father possessing three automobiles “when simply owning one was a novelty” and, while dining, how his grandparents would place a gold ducat under the children’s plates as a reward for finishing the meal. Leaving almost everything behind, the family begins an odyssey that first takes it westward to Italy. Suffering with a toothache on the road to Maggio, young Novakovic is unaware that his own personal journey will lead to Buenos Aires and New York. The memoir is divided into four parts, determined by a key moment in the author’s life: “From Split to Milano,” “Becoming an American,” “An Officer and a Gentleman,” and “From an Officer to a Businessman.” Each section remains engaging in its own right. Many passages are so vivid that they startle the reader. At one point, the author describes a fighter plane bearing down on him: “He was also shooting in my direction. I could have decided, like Cary Grant in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, North by Northwest, to run and try to find cover….But I did not choose to use my speed. Instead I stood, looked up, and waved at the pilot.” Yet, beyond war’s chaos, this work examines a life punctuated by achievement, as the author reflects on a dazzling career in the military and as a successful entrepreneur. Written with humility and elegance, Novakovic displays a solid command of transnational history, which he wraps effortlessly around his own story, giving the memoir a greater cachet. This book should appeal to readers manifesting an interest in World War II or anyone searching for inspiration in the tenacity of others.

A remarkable and gripping account of a boy fleeing a war-torn nation and eventually flourishing in America. 

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 08/2016
  • 9780692770108 B01L31ROBC
  • 260 pages
  • $9.99
Hardcover Details
  • 08/2016
  • 978-0-9979938-0-6
  • 260 pages
  • $24.99
Ebook Details
  • 08/2016
  • 978-0-9979938-1-3 B01L31ROBC
  • 260 pages
  • $6.99
Audio Details
  • 09/2016
  • 978-0-9979938-2-0
  • 260 pages
  • $19.99

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