“I never called the Czechs ´bad´”
Mary Heimann, the author of the history book Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed, writes to Respekt in response to a review of her book by David Vaughan published in this magazine few weeks ago. She contests the assumption that she simply dislikes the Czechs and that´s the reason why she took a highly critical take on the Czech state.
11 January 2010
I feel that to present a review of my recent book Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed under the title ‘A Bad State and a Bad Nation’ is highly misleading. Although highly critical of state policies undertaken under a series of Czechoslovak regimes, the book never calls either the Czech nation or the Czech people ‘bad’.
As for the assumption that I must dislike the Czechs: I would hardly have spent ten years learning Czech, studying Czech history (or, for that matter, married my Czech husband) if that were true. The book strongly criticizes extreme nationalism, not the Czech or Slovak or German or Hungarian or Polish or Ruthenian/Ukrainian or Jewish or Gypsy/Roma peoples.
The review of Mary Heimann´s book by David Vaughan can be found
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