• A Race to Freedom

  • The Mira Slovak Story
  • By: David Williams
  • Narrated by: Brian Callanan
  • Length: 16 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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A Race to Freedom  By  cover art

A Race to Freedom

By: David Williams
Narrated by: Brian Callanan
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Publisher's Summary

Mira Slovak was born in Czechoslovakia and endured both the Nazi occupation and the brutal Russian liberation. He joined the Czech Air Force, rising to captain by the age of 21. 

When he could no longer tolerate life under the Communists, he hijacked an airliner and flew across the Iron Curtain to freedom. He went to work for the CIA and was eventually sent to the US and given a job as Bill Boeing, Jr.'s, personal pilot. 

When Boeing began racing hydroplanes in the late 1950s, Mira was his driver. During his 10-year career as a hydroplane driver, he won many races and two national championships. He met presidents and dated movie starlets. 

After a serious hydroplane accident, Slovak switched to airplanes, where he won another national championship. When he retired from racing, he became a stunt pilot and public speaker and talked about the value of freedom and how we should value it above everything else. 

He outlasted communism, and when it collapsed in 1990, he returned to his home, only to realize his true home was and always would be the US.

©2018 David D. Williams (P)2018 David D. Williams

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What listeners say about A Race to Freedom

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Free to live as an American.

This is a heartwarming story of a man who risked his life to flee oppression in the days of the Soviet Union escaping from
Eastern Europe.

He took advantage of our wonderful Country and the opportunities America offers.

In a period where the Donald Trumps of the world fail to appreciate the great asset our immigrants are and what they contribute
to our success as a society, it is a pleasure to be reminded how immigrants make our Country better.


This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

9 people found this helpful

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What an amazing life

There are people who do a lot with their lives but Mira would make most people think 'I could have done more', he took on challenge after challenge and thrived on it. His determination to make the most of every opportunity made his life very interesting to hear about.

I liked the first third of the book best, the part covering his early life, the rest is good too but I felt there was too much detail at times. I'm not particularly interested in what lane he was in for each boat race, his qualifying or average lap speeds and this is included for every race and not just for him but for other competitors as well, this aspect had me wanting to fast forward to skip it and get to the more interesting parts, I sure other people would disagree and love this detail, but it wasn't a positive for me.

The narration is excellent, great character voices and the accents are well done. The pace and tone of the delivery worked well for the story.

I received a free copy of this book from the author and/or narrator and/or publisher and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.

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1 person found this helpful

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Reads Like Fiction But It’s Not

After he’s hidden Jews from the Nazis in his basement, built his own airplane and staged a daring escape from Communist Czechoslovakia you realize you’re not even halfway through this book. Mira Slovak packed a lot into his life and it’s all recalled in vivid detail in “A Race to Freedom; The Mira Slovak Story”. You may never have heard of Mira Slovak (I hadn’t) but you will thoroughly enjoy the story of his life. It is a book of recent history well-told and Brian Callanan does an excellent job of telling it. Five stars all around.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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A must read

A great story very well told! And the narration does it justice. It's one of those stories you don't want to put down.

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Exciting from start to finish!

A Race to Freedom is exciting from start to finish. David Williams does a magnificent job of capturing each stage of Mira's life. You can't believe the next chapter is more exciting than the previous. What an amazing man, what an amazing life, can't wait for the book to be made into a movie....at least we have the book until then!
Thank you for telling Mira's story!

1 person found this helpful

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A great story!

Brain Callanan does an amazing job capturing all of the emotion and intensity of this incredible, but true story.

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Top notch!

Excellent choice! In addition to a book about the Civil War, it is a classic in terms of leadership, staying the course regardless of what someone else might think, and a great example of humility.

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Wonderful and exciting!

As a professional Hydroplane racer for over 25 years I can relate so much to Mira in this book. David did a good job describing many elements and details of a hydroplane race and brought some of the excitement and thoughts to paper and this recording. I was lucky to catch the tail end of the golden days of this sport and am glad we had all the safety elements that Mira did not as I am pretty sure I would be a statistic. I was honored to meet Mira once in the Tri Cities and am sure he would have loved reading this book as I did. Nate B.

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Amazing story of an amazing man

Mora's story is absolutely incredible and bigger than life. The book is well written and, for the most part, it is well read. I did find some of the narrator's "voices" odd but overall it didn't take away from how good the story is

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Surprising new favorite

This is a great great book. I couldn't stop listening. I knew Mira was a great boat racer, but I didn't know of the obstacles he had to overcome and of his character. He was an amazing man.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-02-19

Beautifully sad yet inspiring

Loved it, very close to home and my heart indeed. I grew up near to where Mira was born but much later towards the end of communism, my dad didn't have a chance to escape. What a man Mira was. I'd love to have met him. A lot of the moments in the book made me very sad and nostalgic but very proud of his courage and inspiration for others. Beautiful story.

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  • daveman
  • 02-27-20

MIRA SLOVAK VIVAT

Mira SLOVAK vivat! It's very nice story indeed. I just wish I could listen to this audiobook in SLOVAK language too. Please more books in SLOVAKIAN, Thank you Audible, VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!