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Distributed for Karolinum Press, Charles University

In Quest of History

On Czech Statehood and Identity

1st Edition

Distributed for Karolinum Press, Charles University

In Quest of History

On Czech Statehood and Identity

1st Edition

In honor of the 2018 centennial of Czech independence, philosopher of law Jiří Přibán and award-winning Czech journalist Karel Hvížďala took the opportunity to examine key moments in Czech history from the ninth century to the twenty-first. Covering such a broad span of time allowed them to look into the past and question how Czechs have viewed their history at different points—and what that means for the Czech present and future. As contemporary politics drift closer towards totalitarianism, historiography from scholars and thinkers who experienced twentieth-century totalitarian regimes is more important than ever. In their spirited dialogue, Hvížďala and Přibán raise and explore these crucial issues, sharing subjects normally reserved for university seminars with the broader public.

280 pages | 10 halftones | 6 x 8 | © 2019

Václav Havel Series

History: European History

Law and Legal Studies: General Legal Studies

Philosophy: General Philosophy

Sociology: General Sociology


“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"

“This contemplation by two Czech intellectuals of Czech history . . . should be mandatory reading for understanding the deeper context of our current crisis.”

Jacques Rupnik, 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

“Showcases Přibáň as a model defender of liberal, constitutional, representative government at a time when it is under strain worldwide and in danger of seeming passé. Pragmatic, tolerant realism is not an easy sell, but Přibáň succeeds by dint of his passion, breadth of learning and the undisguised affection he feels for his people even while going against the grain of their escapist idylls and disdain for democratic politicking as something grubby.”

Times Higher Education

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