> Skip to content
Havel Vaclav
Photo Credit: copyright J. Jiroutek 2011

Havel Vaclav

Book for an event

Václav Havel was born in Prague on 5 October 1936. The son of a movie producer, Havel first distinguished himself as a poet and playwright in Prague’s burgeoning theatre world. The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia saw Havel aiding the resistance for which he was later banned from theatre work. Living under Soviet occupation, and having to work as a brewer, Havel became increasingly politically active and was eventually imprisoned for three years following the publication of his 1979 essay, The Power of the Powerless. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, Havel became President of Czechoslovakia and he was later elected the first President of the Czech Republic. Havel returned to the theatre after retiring from political life, writing two new plays before his death on 18 December 2011. (Author photograph copyright J. Jiroutek 2011)

Books by Havel Vaclav

The Power of the Powerless

One of the most 'original and compelling pieces of political writing' to come out of the Soviet Union, published in Vintage Classics on its fortieth anniversary

Read more