Václav Havel was, perhaps, the first hip (as opposed to ‘hipster’) president. A playwright, poet, and political dissident, he ended up as the first president of a free Czechoslovakia, and helped steer the ‘Velvet Divorce‘ which saw the country’s peaceful dissolution into the current states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
He was an ardent anti-Communist, humanitarian, and friend and fan of men as disparate as Frank Zappa and Ronald Reagan. Perhaps now is a great time for an American audience to see what a friend we had in Václav.
Marci Shore reviews the biography here, courtesy of the New York Times.