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


After Trump And Brexit, Is This The End For The Anglo-Saxon West?

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Friday, July 28, 2017

Some welcome the prospect of decline in Britain and the US. They should be careful what they wish for.

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A Pregnant Pause

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 7, 2017

Brexit is now certain, but the terms are not. Britain still has time to work with the EU, head off political strife, and minimize economic pain. 

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Analysis and Commentary

A Year After Voting For Brexit, Britain’s Divided, And in Uncharted Waters

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, June 22, 2017

The most likely outcome of negotiations is a variant of Norway’s deal, where we must abide by EU rules but have no say. We’re better off staying in.

When You Go To The Ballot Box, Think First Of Brexit

by Timothy Garton Ash
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

With EU leaders warning that negotiations could quickly collapse, we’ll need all the pro-remain MPs we can get. So vote strategically.

Analysis and Commentary

The French Presidency Goes To Macron. But It’s Only A Reprieve

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Sunday, May 7, 2017

Like someone who has narrowly escaped a heart attack, Europe can raise a glass and give thanks for the victory of Emmanuel Macron. But the glass is less than half full, and if Europe doesn’t change its ways it will only have postponed the fateful day.


We Know The Price Of Appeasement. That’s Why We Must Stand Up To Viktor Orbán

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

This appeasement has to stop. If Hungary’s anti-liberal, nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, persists in his attempts to close down the country’s best and most independent university, and continues to erode liberal democracy in many other ways, then the EU’s powerful grouping of centre-right parties must expel Orbán’s party from its ranks.


Brexit Is A Tragedy, But There’s Much We Can Do Before The Final Act

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Negotiations will last well into the 2020s, giving plenty of time for a change in public mood, and direction.

Analysis and Commentary

Like Trump, The Chinese Leader Is Pushing A Political System To Its Limits

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Monday, March 27, 2017

With an erratic US president and an array of potential flashpoints, understanding China’s unprecedented domestic experiment is more crucial than ever.

Analysis and Commentary

Under President Trump, We’ll Enter An Age Of Global Confrontation

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Saturday, January 21, 2017

A narcissistic bully will face nationalist leaders just as dangerous. Prepare for a direct clash with China.

Analysis and Commentary

Is Europe Disintegrating?

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The New York Review of Books
Thursday, January 19, 2017

Had I been cryogenically frozen in January 2005, I would have gone to my provisional rest as a happy European. With the enlargement of the European Union to include many post-Communist democracies, the 1989 “return to Europe” dream of my Central European friends was coming true.