To The Castle And Back
Translated by Paul Wilson
As president first of Czechoslovakia and then of the nascent Czech Republic, Havel led central Europe out of communism and into the twenty-first century before stepping down in February 2003. In this illuminating memoir, he recollects his thirteen years at Prague Castle during this pivotal period, writing with wit, charm and candour about the peculiar life of a statesman and his lack of readiness for the surreal challenges of governing a young democracy, as well as reflecting on the future of the EU and the reach of the American superpower, and explaining why he has come to believe the war in Iraq is a fiasco. And then there are the personal revelations, as he speaks for the first time about his battle with lung cancer, the death of his first wife, Olga, and the controversy that has dogged his relationship with his second wife. Infused with characteristic humour, To the Castle and Back is an engaging self-portrait of one of the most important figures of our time.