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 Free Speech: Ten Principles For A Connected World (2016), and he edited Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present (2009). His previous books include Facts Are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade without a Name (2010); 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

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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.
Analysis and Commentary

Jesus Rex Poloniae

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The New York Review of Books
Monday, July 30, 2018

Arriving in Warsaw, I am told that Jesus Christ was recently enthroned as king of Poland. On state television, the country’s de facto leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, declares: “Vox populi, vox dei!” Polish populism in a Latin nutshell. The voice of the people is the voice of God, and he, the leader who interprets the will of the people, must therefore also be doing the will of God.


A Humiliating Brexit Deal Risks A Descent Into Weimar Britain

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Guardian
Friday, July 27, 2018

ver the next year or two we could witness the emergence of a rancid, angry Britain: a society riven by domestic divisions and economic difficulties, let down by its ruling classes, fetid with humiliation and resentment. Any such country is a danger both to itself and to its neighbors.


Liberal Europe Isn’t Dead Yet. But Its Defenders Face A Long, Hard Struggle

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Monday, July 9, 2018

Populism is gripping the heart of Europe. Those fighting it must reclaim the idea of the nation from the nationalists.


The Best Books On Free Speech

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Five Books
Friday, June 15, 2018

Hoover Institution fellow Timothy Garton Ash, author of Free Speech: Ten Principles for A Connected World, outlines a plan for navigating the complexities of free speech and recommends the best books to help us think about free speech.

Analysis and Commentary

Macron’s Plan To Save Europe Is Compelling – But He’s On His Own

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, May 31, 2018

The French president is the best European leader we’ve got. But without support from Germany, there’s little he can do.

Analysis and Commentary

The EU’s Core Values Are Under Attack As Never Before. It Must Defend Them

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Monday, May 7, 2018

As Hungarian-style authoritarianism spreads, Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party should be expelled from its European parliament grouping