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In Quest of History

In Quest of History

On Czech Statehood and Identity

Přibáň, JiříHvížďala, Karel

subjects: history, philosophy, law – legal history
series: Václav Havel Series

paperback, 290 pp., 1. edition
translation: Hoskins, Stuart John
published: october 2019
ISBN: 978-80-246-4267-3
recommended price: 400 czk



On the centennial of the Czechs gaining their independence, award-winning Czech journalist Karel Hvížďala and Cardiff-based philosopher of law Jiří Přibán used the occasion to examine key moments in Czech history from the ninth century to the twenty-first. Covering such a broad scope allows the authors to look into the past and question how Czechs have viewed their history at different points – and what that means for the present and future. Employing the form of a dialogue, Hvížďala and Přibán raise and explore issues for the broader public that are normally reserved for university seminars, or avoided completely.

“It’s an interesting book because simply by considering the ideas the authors of In Quest of History put forth, the reader loses his certainty of what is true and what is the common consensus – he becomes an individual.”
– Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Testaments Betrayed, and The Festival of Insignificance

“This contemplation by two Czech intellectuals of Czech history, ‘the national narrative,’ collective memory, and contemporary politics should be mandatory reading for understanding the deeper context of our current crisis.”
– Jacques Rupnik, professor of political science at Sciences Po

“Two men who are as European as they are Czech raise a question – Where are we headed? In answering, they deliver a solid classic. What an inspiring dialogue!”
– Petr Pithart, Czech politician and signatory of Charter 77

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