A political insider during Prague's spring of 1968, Dr. Petr Pithart amassed detailed information on the processes which led to the famed event, as well as its fall. Pithart's book is a critical and open analysis on the causes of the failure: the underestimation of the international context, the mistreating of the Slovak question, and the ambiguous relationship between the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and society at large. Pithart places the events which occurred, and behavior by locals, intellectuals and politicians, into a wider social, political, and cultural context. Of particular interest is a critical evaluation of modern Czech political culture. Pithart's book is without a doubt one of the major publications on Central European politics during Communism. A political scientist by training, and signatory to the once-famous Charter 77, Pithart has not only followed the course of recovery in Czech democracy, but also served as one of its leaders. He was a member of the first, independent, post-communist Czechoslovak Parliament in 1990, and served as its prime minister from 1990 to 1992. He is currently the speaker of the Czech Senate.