Milestones Apr. 30, 2007


VACLAV HAVEL, former President of the Czech Republic, called him a "Maoist, a Trotskyist ... a phenomenon unto himself." Starting in the 1950s, rebel philosopher-poet Egon Bondy drew followers with his surreal fiction--published and distributed covertly--which offered veiled, witty critiques of his country's Stalinist government. But the weirdest and most influential role the vocal Marxist played was as the inspiration and lyricist for a seminal Czech underground rock band, the Plastic People of the Universe. The arrest of the Plastics at a 1976 rally sparked Charter 77, the Havel-led protest movement that in 1989 toppled the communist regime. He was...

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