Acts of Courage: Vaclav Havel's Life in the Theatreby Carol Rocamora
Václav Havel - dissident, activist, essayist, philosopher, politician, founder and president of the Czech Republic - is known throughout the world as a hero of the human rights movement and a martyr for the "right to write" (he was imprisoned many times under Communism in his country). But few in the West know that he is also his country's most famous playwright. This book tells the dramatic story of his life in the theater during three dark decades under Communism and the extreme risks that he and many others took to perform his works.
Havel's ten full-length plays and seven one-acts are also discussed - plays that not only tell the story of his country but also helped to change it, plays that have a significant place in twentieth-century world drama. For those who love the theater, his story is a powerful and moving one about what it means to be a playwright, a story wherein writing for the theater is an act of courage.
Associate Editor, Book News Inc. -May 2005
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty."
Reversing cause and effect, Israeli leaders blinded themselves to the (obvious) fact that it was Arab hatred and aggression that repeatedly led to Israeli occupation, not occupation that caused Arab hatred and violence. Although Levin argues strongly that Israeli leaders like Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and the ineffable Shimon Peres hallucinated moderation in a murderous enemy, his book is not a polemic that excludes all opposing points of view; on the contrary, we get the fullest possible account, and "in their own words," of those Israelis (and their American-Jewish supporters) who deluded themselves into believing that Oslo would bring a new heaven and a new earth. When the accords were signed in 1993, Minister of Education Shulamit Aloni announced that "no more parents will go weeping after the coffins of their sons" and Israeli novelist and "peace activist" Amos Oz said confidently that "death shall be no more."
And all this because Arafat had - not for the first time - promised to renounce terror and recognize Israel's "right to exist." It was the used Buick he had already sold several times over. By autumn 2000, and as a direct (and in Levin's view entirely predictable) result of Israel's endless unreciprocated concessions to Arafat's demands, the country was faced with Intifada II, "the Oslo War," in which all Israel became a battlefield, and getting on a bus or going to a cafe or a disco meant risking your life. One of Levin's central themes is the influence of Israel's cultural elites on the governments of Rabin and Barak. In Israel as in America the motto of many intellectuals is "the other country, right or wrong"; but whereas in America leftist intellectuals now aspire only to take over the universities, in Israel they aspired to (and in one sense did) take over the government. The consequence: Israel was soon reminded of Churchill's judgment of England's intellectual appeasers: "Mr. Chamberlain was faced with a choice between surrender and war; he chose surrender, and he got war."
New York Post June 13, 2005
- Smith & Kraus, Inc.
- Publication date:
- The Ultimate Audition Book for Middle School Actors Ser.
- Product dimensions:
- 5.56(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.30(d)
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