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Thomas W McDonough Contemporary Eastern Europe Dr Walter Brown Dr William Frech January 31 1997 Vaclav Havel From Playwright to President The president of the Czech Republic was not always a politician Vaclav Havels first career was in the theatre Throughout his work in drama Havel satirized the Communistic government of Czechoslovakia He became a dissident because of his writings and soon began political movements that eventually brought him to power in his country Havel is considered by may to be one of the best Czech writers there are around today Yet as a president he is harshly criticized It is interesting to speculate whether Vaclav is a better writer or a better president Vaclav Havel was born in Prague on October 5 1936 In 1951 he completed his compulsory schooling Being the offspring of a prominent Prague businessmans family he was barred from pursuing regular studies afterwards For four years while taking an apprenticeship as a chemical laboratory technician he was attending evening classes at a grammar school It was at the age of nineteen that he started publishing studies and articles in literary and theatre magazines Family tradition has led him toward embracing the humanist values of Czech culture that were suppressed or destroyed in the 1950s As he was not allowed due to his family background to study humanities he went on to a Technical University where he spent two years Havel Disturbing The Peace ps 20-21 After completing his military service he worked as a stagehand at the ABC Theatre and later from 1960 in the Theatre on the Balustrade The Theatre on the Balustrade produced his first plays most importantly The Garden Party 1963 a piece representing in an outstanding manner the strong liberal tendencies that were occurring in Czech culture society and government in the 1960s which culminated in the Prague Spring of
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