Havel at Columbia

The Citizen

The complexity of Václav Havel's life and ideas can be fully appreciated only by viewing him from several perspectives. Havel is not only a political leader, but a world renowned artist. The interviews, archival footage and other library assets found in this section focus on Havel the citizen: his rise to prominence as an essayist, political and human rights activist, and ultimately leader of his country.


Bradley Abrams, Associate Director, Harriman Institute and Associate Professor, History Department

Columbia University

Lisa Anderson, Dean

School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Edward Albee, Playwright

Lee C. Bollinger, President, Columbia University

George H.W. Bush, Forty-first President of the United States

Milos Forman, Filmmaker

Chris Harwood, Lecturer in Czech

Slavic Languages, Columbia University

William and Wendy Luers, Former President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and former Ambassador to Czechoslovakia; Founder and President of the Foundation for a Civil Society.

Gregory Mosher, Director University Arts Initiative

Columbia University

Ambassador Martin Palouš, Czech Ambassador to the United Nations, former Czech Ambassador to the United States and former spokesperson of Charter 77

Martin Puchner, H. Gordon Garbedian Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Columbia University

Lou Reed, Artist, Musician

David Remnick, Editor, The New Yorker

George Soros, Founder and Chairman

Open Society Institute and the Soros Foundations Network


Censorship and Restrictions

Charter 77 and its International Impact

Havel at Home

Havel in New York

Last Days of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic


Plastic People of the Universe

Prague Spring

President Havel

Trials and Tribulations

Velvet Revolution as Mass Movement

Velvet Revolution as Negotiation

Velvet Revolution as Student Movement

Archival Films

Prague Spring, Cel Communications, 1985 (CU Only)

The Velvet Revolution, Courtesy CNN

The Cold War: 1968, 1989, Turner Original Productions, 1998 (CU Only)

US News Coverage of Czechoslovakia, 1977-1992, Vanderbilt Television News Archive (CU Only)

Citizen Václav Havel Goes on Vacation, Courtesy Jan Novak and Chicago Motion Pictures, 2006

Plastic People of the Universe (CU only), 1976 - 1977 Globus Music (CU Only)