The article studies Czech sociologists who left Czechoslovakia immediately following the communist takeover in February 1948 and their subsequent academic and personal fates in exile. Attention is devoted principally to Otakar Machotka (1899–1970), a prominent figure in both Czech political life and pre-Marxist Czech sociology with strong personal and methodological ties to the Chicago School, whose correspondence and other archived sources made the research possible. The special circumstances surrounding Machotka led to his being favoured in terms of being offered excellent academic positions in the United States. However, Machotka was opposed to the sociological mainstream(s) of his time and (unsuccessfully) attempted to establish his own school between sociology and social psychology. Subsequently, he accepted tenure at a marginal non-research university and failed to gain an audience in wider American/international academia. With respect to personal issues, he preferred to devote attention to his family and personal social work rather than to strong academic competition, perhaps influenced also by the bleak fates of two of his colleagues in exile František Rouček (1891–1952) and Zdeněk Ullrich (1901–1955), both of whom accorded priority to their professional careers which led them to Africa where they met with early deaths due to local environmental causes. Members of the youngest cohort of Czech post-February 1948 exiled sociologists, however, enjoyed happier fates, gaining a certain international academic renown, but only after graduating (anew) from western universities.
Nešpor, Zdeněk R. 2017. „„Opustíš-li mne, zahyneš…" Akademická dráha Otakara Machotky a dalších českých sociologů v emigraci po únoru 1948.“ Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 53 (5): 737-764. ISSN 0038-0288.