Václav Havel (1936–2011) was the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic. Havel was one of the six signers of the statement “Tibet: The Peace of the Graveyard.”

IN THE REVIEW

Václav vs. Václav

When Václav Havel’s memoirs were published in Prague last May, under the title Please, Be Brief, one of the most eagerly anticipated aspects of his story was what he would say about his famously contentious relationship with Václav Klaus, the Czech prime minister under Havel who succeeded him as president …

The Freedom Tower

Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced yesterday that he supported going ahead with construction of the Freedom Tower at ground zero, making official his change of mind about a project that he once called a white elephant. —The New York Times, February 21, 2007 May 19, 2005 I have to admit …

A Farewell to Politics

The following speech was given by President Havel in New York on September 19, 2002, at the Graduate Center of the City University, on the occasion of his last official trip to the United States as President of the Czech Republic. I still have vivid memories of the concert almost …

The First Laugh

The following speech was given by President Havel upon receiving the Open Society Prize awarded by the Central European University in Budapest earlier this year. Several weeks ago, after the Czech national team won the World Hockey Championship, there were enormous celebrations in the streets of our country. I followed …

Paying Back the West

Following are excerpts from the address given by President Havel in Warsaw earlier this year when he accepted the First Decade Prize at the tenth-anniversary celebration of the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza. When the totalitarian system collapsed in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and many important political …

Kosovo and the End of the Nation-State

The following is the address given by President Václav Havel to the Canadian Senate and the House of Commons in Ottawa on April 29. The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was then in its sixth week. The Czech Republic, along with Poland and Hungary, had recently become members of the alliance, …