In November 2004, a book of the dispatches was sent from the American Embassy in Prague to the American diplomatic headquarters from the revolutionary days of 1989 was published under the name of “Prague – Washington – Prague”. Prof. Vilém Prečan prepared the Czech-English version for publishing from unique archive materials which the American State Department released for this purpose.
Fausting with Havel
Fausting is the first publication of the collection of texts compiled by Václav Havel's friends in 1986 at the occassion of his 50th birthday. The texts react to Havel's play, Temptation: from platonic dialogues through the Devil's monologue up to the mysterious Faust's mistress. It is accompanied with a transcript of a contemporary interview with Václav Havel. It is published as the first issue of the Václav Havel Library book series.
Divided by the Past. The formation of political identities in the Czech Republic after 1989
Those of us who wrote this book were taken by surprise. We were investigating the formation of Czech political culture and political-cultural identities after 1989 only to find out that post-November politics are not divided by different ideologies but that they are actually “divided by the past.” The theme of this publication is also the multilayered role played by the reflection of the past (not only the Communist past) in Czech politics. Seeking and forming of political traditions, and thus also images of the past, were not arbitrary or accidental. Sometimes they were deeply rooted in the previous development of the respective political group, at other times in relations originating in an office or a prison, and yet other times it was the result of the pragmatism of political fight. The past created firm bonds – and all significant participants in contemporary Czech politics built their identity through them.
In three parts, this publication offers three ways of remembering the totalitarian everyday life.
Martin C. Putna: Václav Havel. Spiritual portrait within the framework of Czech culture
"I see Martin Putna’s book, Václav Havel. Spiritual portrait within the framework of Czech culture as an extremely pivotal work about an extremely important personality of the Czech history. This is not a usual biography, a factual description of events. Putna unfolds to the reader his cultivated interpretation of the meaning of the cultural environment in which Václav Havel rose and lived. Putna offers an inside view of a direct participant while using a detached view of a historian in the narration. He built his work on his exceptionally careful study of available sources. In addition, Putna writes quite readably and with elegance. In my opinion, this book is a cardinal achievement in so far mostly superficial and often biased thinking about Václav Havel. It sets a new and high standard."
Nina Rutova - Havel in a Nutshell
The 14 lessons of Nina Rutova's book, intended primarily for teachers and students, describes in detail one personality and all eras. The concept of the text is based on the author's lecturing experience in the Vaclav Havel Library where she has been preparing seminars for secondary school students for several years now.
"Critical thinking" methods outline the themes of the book, e.g. dissent, conscience, legacy of the past, and democratic discussion.