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Vaclav Havel


  • Originally published 02/25/2015

    The Hero Europe Needed

    Michael Ignatieff

    A quarter century after the Velvet Revolution, Václav Havel's legacy is in disarray. His life illuminates a dissident generation's dreams and the revenge that history has taken on them.

  • Originally published 07/03/2014

    The Power of the Powerless

    Liberty and Power

    The Power of the Powerless was written in the wake of the "Prague Spring" (1968) during which Czechoslovakia liberalized freedom of speech and freedom of travel. The Soviet Union responded with brutal force that crushed the flicker of liberty. Havel was targeted for his prominent role in the reach for Czech independence. Arrested and imprisoned, he achieved an epiphany: the most powerful weapon against guns was the truth. The Power of the Powerless was a blistering attack on the communist regime. It was also a call for individuals to understand their own power not merely when they dissent but also when they comply with a system that is a lie.