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 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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E Pluribus Unum, California Style

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, October 30, 2003

What Europe can learn from California. By Timothy Garton Ash.

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Vive la France!

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, October 30, 2003

It is time for Jacques Chirac and Dominique de Villepin to be helped off their high horse. By Timothy Garton Ash.

The Real New Europe

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Political tensions between Europe and the United States notwithstanding, the “New Europe” is more American than ever. By Timothy Garton Ash.

A LESS PERFECT UNION? The Constitution of the European Union

with Timothy Garton Ash, Paul Johnsonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, July 16, 2003

In June 2003, a European constitutional convention presented the fruits of 18 months of work: a draft constitution for the European Union that runs to more than 200 pages. Why does the European Union even need a constitution? Will the constitution limit the powers of the EU over the member countries, or does it mean the creation of a European superstate? Should the constitution be ratified, or is it just a colossal mistake?

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Anti-Europeanism in America

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

American relations with Europe are at their lowest point in decades. What happened? By Hoover fellow Timothy Garton Ash.

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Confronting Saddam’s Legacy

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Saddam Hussein has been purged from Iraq—now his legacy must be purged as well. By Hoover fellow Timothy Garton Ash.

What Price Security?

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 2003

Would you rather take the slim chance of being blown up by a terrorist or have all your e-mail read by the government? Hoover fellow Timothy Garton Ash on the costs of protecting ourselves.

Europe at War

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

"We’re all under attack—all the free world." Europe responds to September 11. By Hoover fellow Timothy Garton Ash.

Why Orwell Matters

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, October 30, 2001

The world of Nineteen Eighty-Four may have ended in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down, but George Orwell’s writing remains as relevant today as ever. Hoover Fellow Timothy Garton Ash explains why.

The European Orchestra

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 30, 2001

Will Europe never be Europe because it is too busy becoming Europe? Hoover fellow Timothy Garton Ash unscrambles the conundrum of the European Union.

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