Timothy Garton Ash

Senior Fellow

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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Recent Commentary

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

Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France
Featured Commentary

Did Charlie Hebdo's Cover Get It Right? Our Writers' Verdict

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The first edition of the magazine since the attack in which 12 people were killed has a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad on its cover. Our writers share their view.

Featured Commentary

Against The Assassin’s Veto

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Hindu
Friday, January 9, 2015

For all the bold editorial statements, sympathy cartoons and demonstrations, most publications, left alone to themselves, will in future self-censor out of fear.

British Flag
Featured Commentary

What Is Britain? The Right Answer Could Win The Next Election

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Conservatives are winning the battle to appeal to the unhappy English voter over the future of Britain and its place in Europe. Labour needs to sharpen up.

Featured Commentary

Angela Merkel Has Faced Down The Russian Bear In The Battle For Europe

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Monday, December 22, 2014

In dealing with Putin, the German chancellor has united Europe. She is the stateswoman of the year.