Václav Havel (1936–2011), the famous Czech dissident, intellectual, and playwright, was there when half a million people came to Wenceslas Square to demand an end to Communism in 1989. Many came to hear him call for a free Czechoslovakia, for democratic elections, and for a return to Europe. The demonstrators roared when he spoke. “Havel to the castle,” they chanted— meaning Havel for president. And a few weeks later, Havel became a most unusual president. He was sometimes misunderstood and not always popular, but by the time of his death in 2011, the world recognized Havel as one of the most prominent figures of the twentieth century. In this intimate and sweeping portrayal of Havel, David Gilbreath Barton reveals the eccentricities of the last president of Czechoslovakia, and the first president of the Czech Republic.