Disturbing the Peace

Vaclav Havel, Author Alfred A. Knopf $19.95 (228p) ISBN 978-0-394-58441-6
Havel displayed resilience and courage in his unlikely journey from absurdist playwright to activist to president of Czechoslovakia. Branded a public enemy, his plays banned, he survived multiple arrests, four years in prison, a half-demented warden's endless punishments, and surveillance. His transformation from a writer, ``witness of his time,'' to a politician bent on rebuilding Czech democracy is modestly yet passionately recounted in an exhilarating set of interviews conducted by exiled Czech journalist Karel Hvizdala in 1985-1986. Havel sees East and West as undergoing a common crisis: the clash between an impersonal, irresponsible juggernaut of power, and the basic rights and interests of the individual. Far from embracing Western-style corporate capitalism, he favors diverse types of ownership and decentralized enterprises. Mingling autobiography with discussions of politics, literature and theater, his ruminations add up to a disarming and involving self-portrait. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Hardcover - 978-0-685-46183-9
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-679-73402-4
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