The Czech Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The World Readers)

The Czech Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The World Readers)

By: Nina Bazantova (editor), Jan Bazant (editor), Frances Starn (editor)Hardback

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The Czech Reader brings together more than 150 primary texts and illustrations to convey the dramatic history of the Czechs, from the emergence of the Czech state in the tenth century, through the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and the Czech Republic in 1993, into the twenty-first century. The Czechs have preserved their language, traditions, and customs, despite their incorporation into the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Third Reich, and the Eastern Bloc. Organized chronologically, the selections in The Czech Reader include the letter to the Czech people written by the religious reformer and national hero Jan Hus in 1415, and Charter 77, the fundamental document of an influential anticommunist initiative launched in 1977 in reaction to the arrest of the Plastic People of the Universe, an underground rock band. There is a speech given in 1941 by Reinhard Heydrich, a senior Nazi official and Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, as well as one written by Vaclav Havel in 1984 for an occasion abroad, but read by the Czech-born British dramatist Tom Stoppard, since Havel, the dissident playwright and future national leader, was not allowed to leave Czechoslovakia. Among the songs, poems, folklore, fiction, plays, paintings, and photographs of monuments and architectural landmarks are "Let Us Rejoice," the most famous chorus from Bedrich Smetana's comic opera The Bartered Bride; a letter the composer Antonin Dvorak sent from New York, where he directed the National Conservatory of Music in the 1890s; a story by Franz Kafka; and an excerpt from Milan Kundera's The Joke. Intended for travelers, students, and scholars alike, The Czech Reader is a rich introduction to the turbulent history and resilient culture of the Czech people.

About Author

Jan Bazant is a senior researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in Prague. He was previously director of the Institute for Classical Studies. Nina Bazantova is an art historian and former curator of historical textiles at the Museum of Applied Arts in Prague. Frances Starn is a writer living in Berkeley, California.


List of Illustrations xi Acknowledgments xv Guide to Pronunciation xvii Introduction 1 I. Between Myth and History (The Premyslid Dynasty) 7 II. Navel of the Earth (Charles IV, 1316-1378) 31 III. Against Everyone (Hussite Revolution) 47 IV. Struggles for City, Court, Country (Vladislav II-Rudolph II) 67 V. Defeated Protestants, Victorious Catholics (Ferdinand II-Charles VI) 83 VI. From the Enlightenment to Romantic Nationalism (Maria Teresa-Revolution of 1848) 111 VII. Defeated Politicians, Victorious Intellectuals (1848-1867) 145 VIII. From National Self-Determination to Cosmopolitanism (1867-1918) 187 IX. The First Czechoslovak Republic (1918-1938) 239 X. Between Hitler and Stalin (1938-1948) 295 XI. "Ideal" Socialism (1948-1968) 335 XII. "Real" Socialism (1968-1989) 385 XIII. The Decades after the Velvet Revolution (1989-) 463 Epilogue 503 Suggestions for Further Reading 507 Acknowledgment of Copyright and Sources 521 Index 529

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780822347798
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 568
  • ID: 9780822347798
  • ISBN10: 0822347792

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