The last few days have seen the deaths of four men with deep ties - for better and for worse - to the Cold War, communism and the world of words.
Revolutionary: In Prague, mourners gathered to remember the poet and statesman Vaclav Havel in Wenceslas Square, the center of the Velvet Revolution in 1989.
Socialist Bookseller: George Whitman reopened the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris, described as "a socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore" and one of our very favorite places in the world.
More Hitchens, Whitman, Havel & Jong Il
Christopher Hitchens, George Whitman and Vàclav Havel: Three Dead Wise Men, Spectator Book Blog
As relevant now as when it was fiurst written: Vaclav Havel "The Power of the Powerless"(1978)
"Shakespeare and Company was only part bookshop; it was also part library, part youth hostel and part cultural shrine." George Whitman's obituary, Telegraph.co.uk
"Unspoken Truths" Christopher Hitchens, on voice in Vanity Fair
List of Kim Jong-il's many, many titles Dear Leader, who is a perfect incarnation of the appearance that a leader should have"
THREE PLACES TO PAY YOUR RESPECTS
Overlooking Prague, a red metronome memorializes the Czech struggles under communism
INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP MUSEUM
A bizarre collection of gifts to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il from the despots of the world
SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY
Beloved bookshop serves double duty as a "Tumbleweed Hotel"
Join us each Monday on Twitter and follow our #morbidmonday hashtag, for new odd and macabre themes each week: Atlas Obscura on Twitter
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