At the start of the Velvet Revolution of 1989, Václav Havel was a 53-year-old playwright, essayist, and political dissident whose works had not been staged publically in Czechoslovakia since his blacklisting after the Soviet-led invasion in 1968. While the late president is revered worldwide as a stalwart champion of human rights, at heart the unwitting “philosopher king” was a dramaturg. Havel often said he wanted nothing more than to be left in peace to write. In this edition of The Czech Books You Must Read, we look back at his literary legacy.

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