New Book Explores Legacy of Vaclav Havel Through Series of Exclusive Interviews

Václav Havel watching the results of the presidential elections (29 December 1989)

December 18th, 2021 marks the tenth anniversary of the death of President Václav Havel, a significant figure for the CzechRepublic and the history of modern Europe.

For this occasion, the Prague-based magazine directed by Giovanni Usai “Progetto Repubblica Ceca”, edited a new book on the former Czech dissident, “Václav Havel. A multi-voice portrait of the hero of the Velvet Revolution”.

The publication is composed of eighteen exclusive interviews with prominent people, both national and international, on the figure of the late Czech president and human rights activist.

Among them Martin Palous, Dominik Duka, Cyril Svoboda, Václav Malý, Karel Schwarzenberg, Michael Žantovský, Vladimír Dlouhý, Gabriele Nissim, Jakub Hladík, Luděk Niedermayer, Alexandr Vondra, Jacques Rupnik, Veritas Holiková, Zdeněk Bakala, Zdeněk Hřib, Ing.Kopp Pavel, Madeleine Albright.

The interviews have been conducted and curated by Amedeo Gasparini, a 24-year-old Swiss-Italian freelance journalist, graduated in “International Relations” at Charles University in Prague. The introduction is by journalist and writer Sergio Tazzer, an expert on Central and Eastern Europe.

“In anticipation of the tenth anniversary of Havel’s death, Progetto Repubblica Ceca’s editor-in-chief Giovanni Usai and I started contacting the people who could help us put together a multi-faceted and multi-voice portrait of the former Czech president,” said author Amedeo Gasparini.

“The idea was to ask everyone about their relations with Havel,” he explained. “For example, with Cardinal Dominik Duka, Bishop Vaclav Maly, and Sister Veritas Holikova, we talked about Havel and the Church; with Cyril Svoboda and Alexandr Vondra, but also with Karel Schwarzenberg and Madeleine Albright, about his relations abroad. And so on.”

“Let’s not forget that there are also several sectors of Czech society that do not appreciate him and see him as an ‘agent of the Americans’, someone who sold out the country to NATO and the EU, etc. But Havel’s message and philosophy are still relevant today, and there are people ready to fight for his ideals.”

This volume is a non-profit publication, and it aims to achieve a charitable purpose. The distribution of the book is in fact not subject to a cover price, but to a freewill donation to organizations engaged in activities consistent with the spirit of the former dissident and human rights activist.


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