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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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Why A Germany Of Robust Debate Would Be Better For Europe

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Monday, July 27, 2015

Consensus has smothered the nation’s domestic politics – it needs a dose of reality-based controversy.

Analysis and Commentary

With 28 Versions Of Europe, It’S No Wonder We Barely Recognise Each Other

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, July 9, 2015

Whom the gods will destroy they first make bored. We have seen so many “last chance” eurozone summits about Greece that many Europeans have almost lost consciousness.

The impact of the cultural obstacles created by the euro’s implementation  is on
Analysis and Commentary

Europe Must Save Greece To Save Itself

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Monday, June 15, 2015

Even if you don’t care about the Greek people, be warned - the faultlines of Grexit would shake the entire continent.

Analysis and Commentary

Xi Jinping’s China Is The Greatest Political Experiment On Earth

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Monday, June 1, 2015

Can Xi do it? This is the biggest political question in the world today. “Yes, Xi can,” some tell me in Beijing. “No, he can’t,” say others. The wise know that nobody knows.

Analysis and Commentary

There Is One Solution To Our Disunited Politics: A Federal Kingdom Of Britain

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Saturday, May 9, 2015

A shaky future in Europe and political discord in the union means the shape of this country is now at stake. But building a federal state would make regional self-determination and accountable government a greater reality

Analysis and 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.

Analysis and 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
Analysis and 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
Analysis and 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.

Analysis and 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.

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