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


Why We Must Not Let Europe Break Apart

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, May 9, 2019

It’s time to sound the alarm. Seven decades after the end of the second world war on European soil, the Europe we have built since then is under attack. As the cathedral of Notre Dame burned, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National was polling neck and neck with Emmanuel Macron’s movement for what he calls a “European renaissance”.

Analysis and Commentary

Britain Will Have Its Second Referendum – At The EU Elections On 23 May

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, April 18, 2019

This is a crucial chance to show politicians how we feel now about leaving Europe. The turnout must be huge.


Historian Timothy Garton Ash: Brexit May Be Worse For EU Than UK

interview with Timothy Garton Ashvia DW
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Timothy Garton Ash argues for a long Brexit extension or a soft Brexit, saying a no-deal Brexit could poison relations between the EU and the UK for decades and would be a boon for Europe's populist movements.

Analysis and Commentary

Brexit Is Just One Front In Europe’s Battle For Its Soul

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Whether it’s taking on Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Germany’s AfD or Italy’s Matteo Salvini, this is one and the same struggle.

In the News

Trudeau Violated Federal Law With Caucus Expulsions, Philpott Says; The Latest Brexit Developments

quoting Timothy Garton Ashvia The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated federal law when he expelled her and former Veterans Affairs minister Jody Wilson-Raybould from caucus without a secret-ballot vote.

In the News

Angela Merkel’s Brexit Stance Should Not Be Misread As Goodwill

quoting Timothy Garton Ashvia Financial Times
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, the German and French leaders, are expected to outline rigorous conditions for a Brexit extension when each hosts Theresa May, the beleaguered UK prime minister, in their national capitals on Tuesday.  

In the News

Europe’s Other Migration Crisis

quoting Timothy Garton Ashvia The Economist
Thursday, April 4, 2019

“Poroshenko, zelensky, Poroshenko, Zelensky…” chants the teller, sing-song, over the flutter of papers. It is shortly before midnight on Sunday in the Ukrainian embassy in Warsaw. Representatives of the country’s presidential candidates are gathered around a conference table to count first-round votes from citizens living here in neighbouring Poland.

In the News

Digital Gangster' Facebook To Appoint Content Reviewers

quoting Timothy Garton Ashvia IT Web
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Facebook is working on appointing an independent global oversight board, which will have the authority to review the social network's content decisions.

Analysis and Commentary

Britain Is In A Hole – Europe, We Need You To Dig Us Out

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Brexit just got serious. If parliament can somehow take control, EU leaders must take pity and offer a long delay.


Timothy Garton Ash On Brexit, European Elections And Italy

interview with Timothy Garton Ashvia Italics Magazine
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Timothy Garton Ash discusses Brexit, the European Elections, and Italy.