In the novel The Year of the Frog, the narrator sinks into a funk over the claustrophobia that has closed over his life. It's the 1980s in Czechoslovakia, and Communism stretches as far into the future as the eye can see.
Modern society has become simply too complex for any one person to master. It's one thing to stand firm against an evil system or a dictatorial regime. This may not be an easy task, but it is an easy-to-understand task.
Of the three multiethnic countries that dissolved in the aftermath of the Cold War, Czechoslovakia fared the best. The two successor states suffered none of the violence, economic catastrophe, or political discord that Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union experienced.
When I started working on U.S.-Soviet relations in the 1980s, I encountered my first GONGO. This was a "government-organized non-governmental organization." It was like something out of Alice in Wonderland.
"-White Places-Black Holes" was proclaimed both publicly and privately as the best congress in recent memory, reflecting both in structure and content, the death and rebirth of art criticism in the 21st century.
There is a great unease among young people in Europe today. The impact on politics has been considerable. Fewer young people are voting in European parliament elections. At the same time, support has surged among young people for extremist politics on the Right.
Although much of the focus of the world's attention in 1989 was on Prague and Vaclav Havel, the civic movement Public Against Violence played an equally important role in ensuring that the revolution in Czechoslovakia was "velvet."
The Czech Republic and Slovakia currently enjoy a relationship that should be the envy of any two neighboring countries. The prime ministers maintain good contact. The two countries engage in joint infrastructure projects and provide joint military units for NATO operations.
Perhaps it's my Vermont blood, but a little inclement weather has never been a deterrent to adventure. In fact, it virtually boils when wind, snow and ice become excuses for inaction, especially when it comes to travel. Cold many contract the bones, but it expands horizons.
It's affordable, steeped in history and, in parts, both bizarre and incredibly beautiful. Plus, in some countries, beer is cheaper than water. Yes, really, it is. But for some reason, Eastern Europe doesn't often feature on many travellers' bucket lists.
Being of half-Irish heritage and having been born in France, Ireland and France are the most promising for me to become president of another country. Again for reasons of heritage, Slovakia is also a candidate.
Many war-criminals have been sentenced, but until each one has been subjected to a full level of punishment, a dark grey cloud will hang over the lives of millions of Jewish people who are still alive.