Monday, December 19, 2011
Vaclav Havel: Another side to the story
This piece of mine appears on the Guardian's Comment is Free website.
Neil Clark: The Czech leader was a brave man, but the voices of those who lost out after communism's demise are seldom heard
He was the symbol of 1989, the anti-communist playwright who helped free his country – and the rest of eastern Europe – from Stalinist tyranny and who put the countries that lay behind the iron curtain on the road to democracy.
So goes the dominant narrative of the life of Václav Havel, the former Czech president, who died on Sunday aged 75. Havel, we are told, was a hero and one of the greatest Europeans of our age.
But, as with the recent consecration of Christopher Hitchens, another "progressive" opponent of the communist regimes of eastern Europe who found favour with Washington's neocons, there is another side to the story.
You can read the whole piece here.