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


Labour Must Back A People’s Vote Before The Clock Runs Out

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Friday, January 11, 2019
A second referendum may be difficult – but the only alternative is a ‘blindfold Brexit’
Analysis and Commentary

My Message To Europe: Tell Us You Want Britain To Stay

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, December 13, 2018

Leaders across Europe might want to get Brexit over the line. But in the long term the EU would be weaker without the UK.

Analysis and Commentary

Life After Liberation

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Foreign Affairs
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

[Subscription Required] Welcome to the Wild East. First, there are Bulgarian Gypsies with dancing bears. Then there is a Polish village whose inhabitants dress up as Hobbits from The Lord of the Rings, along with Gandalf, played by a woman, and Gollum—in private life a farmer who receives European Union subsidies. There are hundreds of thousands of communist-era bunkers in Albania, some of them now being demolished by men in search of rebar. 

Analysis and Commentary

Europe’s Crises Conceal Opportunities To Forge Another Path

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Financial Times
Wednesday, November 21, 2018

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars. At the moment, there are thunderstorms across Europe, from Brexit to Ukraine and from Polish populism to Italian euro-defiance. Yet several of these crises contain their own hidden opportunities. Another Europe is possible.

Analysis and Commentary

Europe’s Door Is Still Open – But Britain Will Have To Move Fast

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Saturday, November 17, 2018

The EU is fed up with the UK’s Brexit drama, but would extend article 50 to allow for a second referendum.

Analysis and Commentary

Brexit: An Island On The Edge

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Prospect Magazine (UK)
Friday, November 9, 2018

Britain's just one corner of a European crisis in which opportunity still lurks.

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A Bloc Divided

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018

Authoritarianism reappears in Eastern Europe. Will the European Union defend its values?


Remaining In The EU: Now We Have A Chance

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Drugstore Culture
Sunday, October 21, 2018

To my dying day I shall never forget seeing the Duke of Wellington’s house at Hyde Park Corner surrounded by a vast sunlit crowd waving the European flag. Saturday’s breathtaking demonstration for a People’s Vote may yet prove a turning point, the beginning of the end of Brexit. It was, in any case, a great democratic moment.

Analysis and Commentary

If You Think Brexit Will Leave Us Weaker And Poorer, March For A People’s Vote

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Guardian
Friday, October 19, 2018

Enough! Let us put an end to this national humiliation. Around the world, Britain is increasingly viewed with pity or contempt. Brexit, were it to happen, would be the most consequential and gratuitous act of national self-harm in our recent history.

Analysis and Commentary

It’s Not Just Trump. Much Of America Has Turned Its Back On Europe

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Friday, September 28, 2018
Can Donald Trump get any worse? Yes, he can. But our fixation on his personal awfulness, which was on full display at the UN this week, blinds us to the larger forces behind his Trumpery.