Political memoirs by former Czech President Vaclav Havel published in Czech Republic

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel on Thursday presented his political memoirs, three years after he stepped down from office.

The book - called "Briefly, Please" - is partly an interview with prominent journalist Karel Hvizdala and partly a collection of notes he wrote last year.

It also includes brief notes and instructions to his staff from the time when he served as president.

Havel, 69, was a well-known dissident playwright when he led the 1989 revolution that peacefully toppled communism. He became leader of Czechoslovakia in December 1989, and also served as Czech president from January 1993 after the country split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He stepped down in 2003 after his second and final term expired.

In the book, Havel contemplates his country's transition from totalitarian regime to democracy, criticizing lack of ideals and an allegedly excessive concentration on economic issues during the period.

"Care ... for material possession, for economic growth, even should it include an unprecedented devastation of the country, a somewhat strange hostility to ideas of all kind, all that belonged to that time," Havel wrote. "I should have relied more on my common sense and less on experts."

But he also touches on more personal issues such as his health and his relationship with his second wife, Dagmar.

The book is to be translated into English, German and French, and will also be presented at the book fair in Frankfurt, Germany, later this year, publishers said.

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