Timothy Garton Ash

Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Timothy Garton Ash, an internationally acclaimed contemporary historian whose work has focused on Europe’s history since 1945, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Garton Ash is in residence at Hoover on a part-time basis; he continues his work as professor of European studies and the Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford University.

Among the topics he has covered are the liberation of Central Europe from communism, Germany before and after its reunification, how countries deal with a difficult past, and the European Union’s relationships with partners including the United States and rising non-Western powers such as China. His current research focuses on global free speech in the age of the Internet and mass migration (see the 13-language interactive Oxford University project www.freespeechdebate.com).

His most recent book is Facts Are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade without a Name (2010), and he edited Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present (2009). His previous books include Free World: America, Europe and the Surprising Future of the West (2004); The File: A Personal History (1998); In Europe's Name: Germany and the Divided Continent (1993); The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of 1989 as Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (1990); The Polish Revolution: Solidarity, 1980–82 (1983); and Und Willst Du Nicht Mein Brüder Sein.

Garton Ash is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Historical Society, and the Royal Society of Arts and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Somerset Maugham Award, the George Orwell Prize, the Order of Merit from Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic, and honorary doctorates from St. Andrew's University and the Catholic University of Leuven.

He writes a regular column in the Guardian, which is widely syndicated in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.

Garton Ash, who holds a BA and MA in modern history from the University of Oxford, did graduate studies at St. Antony's College, Oxford, at the Free University in West Berlin, and at Humboldt University in East Berlin.

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Featured Commentary

England Must Vote To Ensure Britain’s Liberal Centre Holds

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Monday, May 4, 2015

This country-defining general election is also the most European one Britain has ever seen. With a pivotal role played by smaller parties, and diverging politics in different regions or nations within the state, the outcome will almost certainly be a coalition or minority government: all frightfully un-British and typically continental.

Featured Commentary

There Is Another Russia Beyond Putin

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Sunday, April 19, 2015

Despite the Russian president’s popularity, hopes remain of a post-imperial state at ease with itself and its neighbors.

Kiev, Ukraine
Featured Commentary

Can Ukraine Save Itself From Vladimir Putin And The Oligarchs?

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Guardian
Friday, April 3, 2015

‘Welcome to the nation state of Ukraine,” says Mustafa Dzhemilev, a diminutive, soft-spoken 71-year-old leader of the Crimean Tatars, gentle on the outside, hard as steel within.

The Palace of Westminster, London, serves as the Parliament chamber
Featured Commentary

It Is Not Just Parliament’s Buildings That Require Extensive Renovation

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Guardian (UK)
Friday, March 27, 2015

The most famous parliament in the world is falling apart. That neo-gothic pile on the banks of the Thames needs a multi-year, multibillion-pound restoration. But it’s not just the building that’s in disrepair: the institution itself cries out for a thorough overhaul.

Featured Commentary

Europe Is Being Torn Apart – But The Torture Will Be Slow

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Guardian
Sunday, March 8, 2015

“If the euro fails, Europe fails”: thus spake Angela Merkel. Unfortunately, the euro is failing, but it is failing slowly. Even if Greece grexits, the eurozone seems unlikely to fall apart in the near future, although there is still a chance that it will.

Featured Commentary

There’ll Be No Peace While Putin Is Squatting In Ukraine’s Living Room

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Unless Moscow withdraws and Kiev regains control of its eastern frontier, we could see a Syria in Europe.
AndreyKrav, iStock Editorial
Featured Commentary

Putin Must Be Stopped. And Sometimes Only Guns Can Stop Guns

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Sunday, February 1, 2015

The time for diplomacy will come again, but it is not now: Ukraine urgently needs military support, and a counter to Russian propaganda.

The Afterlives of Empires

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

World War I may have destroyed empires, but their internal tensions lived on. Why today’s little wars are the direct descendants of the Great War.

Featured Commentary

Europe's Cycle Of Fear: Will Radicalized Minorities Drag Anxious Majorities In The Wrong Direction?

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

With a foiled Islamist terrorist plot in Belgium following hard on the heels of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, politicians on the xenophobic, anti-immigration far right are looking to pick up votes across Europe. There is a real danger of a downward spiral in which radicalized minorities, Muslim and anti-Muslim, will drag anxious majorities in the wrong direction.

Featured Commentary

Germany’s Anti-Islamic Movement Pegida Is A Vampire We Must Slay

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Sunday, January 18, 2015

As suspicion of Muslims grows in Germany and France, the danger of a vicious spiral is palpable. We need to counter this xenophobia now – before it is too late

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