To the Castle and Back

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In this intimate, illuminating memoir, Havel recollects the pivotal experiences and ideas of his remarkable life a writer, dissident, and statesman. He writes with eloquence and candor about his transition from playwright to politician, and the challenges of governing a young democracy.

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Sep 4, 2007

The human hero

How often do we find in a first rate politican figure a professional creative writer? Havel is legendary, almost mythic in his public presence. This is his wonderfully crafted account, not of his resistence and imprisonment, but of his years as president of Czechoslovakia, and then of the Czech Republic. Original and exciting, the genre he has chosen generates much of the interest. It does not start at the beginning and march dutifully to the end of the story, but interweaves notes from the years of his presidential terms, answers to a journalist's questions, and accounts of the time in which he is writing, to produce a vibrant portrait of the hero who is also a deeply complex and lovable human person.

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