American Elephants

Meet Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic. by The Elephant's Child
November 12, 2009, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Environment, History | Tags: , , ,

I have often recommended the videos of the Hoover Institution’s Uncommon Knowledge.  Each is about 7 minutes long, presented one each day, for a week. Peter Robinson interviews serious people with serious ideas about current events and history.

This week’s guest is Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic.  He was born in Prague in 1941 during WWII, grew up in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War.  After earning a doctorate in economics he pursued a career in academia and at the Czechoslovak State Bank. Immediately after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, Klaus entered politics.  A founder of the Civic Democratic Party, he served 1992 to 1997 as prime minister of the Czech Republic. In 2003 he was elected president, a position to which he was reelected in 2008.

The first segment concerns the events of 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down.  The second segment is about the parallels to be drawn between a united Europe and the late Warsaw Pact. In the third, Mr. Klaus takes on Al Gore and points out the similarities in ideology between communism and environmentalism. And the Thursday segment is about how he became an advocate for the free market while studying economics under communism.

The previous interview was with Victor Davis Hanson, classical scholar and military historian and Robert Baer, former CIA agent who served in the Middle East, discussing with Peter Robinson the problem of Iraq. It is a stunning conversation.

All of the previous Uncommon Knowledge interviews are available in the NRO archives. I cannot recommend them highly enough.  Try one segment of your choice.  I’ll bet you get hooked!

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