My Country

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20040725Ivan Hewett tells the fascinating story of how a handful of gifted figures rescued Czech culture from oblivion, starting with language and myth, and culminating in great novels and symphonies and operas now known throughout the world. But national identity soon became political and controversial as Czechs fought among themselves about what defined their nationhood. In the historic city of Prague, Ivan Hewett pieces together this story of identity, visiting the National Museum to look at manuscripts that inspired Antonin Dvorák and other cultural figures; hearing the choir Hlahol sing patriotic songs by Bedrich Smetana, and looking inside the National Theatre with its triumphant statues of Czech heroism and victory. With contributions from the writer Ivan Klima, conductor Charles Mackerras and historian Miroslav Hroch.