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Letter from The New School for Social Research: Elzbieta Matynia Remembers Jonathan Schell

Long before I had any idea who Jonathan Schell was, I got a brief note from Chuck Tilly asking me to write a review essay for the Sociological Forum. The book to be reviewed was Adam Michnik’s Letters from Prison, just published by the California University Press. In 1985 I already knew Michnik, and the […]

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Miloslav (Milan) Petrusek (1936 – 2012)

In Memoriam – Milan Petrusek New York, August 30, 2012 Miloslav Petrusek, a sociologist from Prague who, after the 1968 Prague Spring, was gradually marginalized as a member of Czechoslovak academia and eventually banned from teaching at Charles University altogether, died last week in Prague. A brilliant scholar and teacher, he had shared the ethos […]

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A letter from Wroclaw: What Vaclav Havel meant to me

While I cannot claim the privilege to have been one of Václav Havel’s friends, he loomed large in my life, first in my teenage years when I was coming of age in Communist Czechoslovakia and later through my extended sojourns abroad – in the United States and now in Poland. Václav Havel is profoundly irreplaceable. […]

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Hitchens in Wroclaw, A Remembrance

The late Christopher Hitchens had taught at The New School and several cohorts of students in the Committee on Liberal Studies had gotten to know him well. But those of us who participated in the 2009 Democracy & Diversity Summer Institute in Poland will always remember him from Wroclaw. The institute had just relocated from […]

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