“Truth and love will overcome lies and hatred.”- Vaclav Havel

“Vaclav Havel’s career as a playwright, dissident, and politician has been an epic drama.” This is how author John Duberstein described Havel in the Morgan Reynolds biography A Velvet Revolution: Vaclav Havel and the Fall of Communism.

The curtain has closed on that epic life.

Last month, Havel died at the age of seventy-five from respiratory illness. Reuters reported, “He had survived operations for lung cancer and a burst intestine in the late 1990s that left him frail for more than a decade.”

Havel was responsible for leading what became known as the Velvet Revolution, the movement that brought the Communist Party of what was then Czechoslovakia to its knees in defeat.

Duberstein wrote, “Havel flung himself into the movement.”

The Velvet Revolution evokes the surprisingly peaceful nature of the events there. It also represents the spirit of the revolution. [It] was almost entirely peaceful–one of the most surprisingly bloodless revolutions in history.

Havel became president of his small nation shortly after the fall of the Communist Party. After his death, thousands mourned the loss of their former president. He was beloved.

Duberstein wrote, “As a rare mix of artist, intellectual, revolutionary, and politician, he [was] an inspiration to those seeking a model for peaceful political change.”

Vaclav Havel revolutionized revolution. As Time Magazine eulogized, “He came from a little country, but his message spoke to the world– a world that is now a different place without him.”

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information about Vaclav Havel, check out A Velvet Revolution: Vaclav Havel and the Fall of Communism by John Duberstein (ISBN 9781931798853)

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Published in: on January 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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