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

Analysis and Commentary

'Merkel Must Hold Europe Together'

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Handelsblatt Global Edition
Thursday, July 7, 2016

[Subscription required] In a wide-ranging interview with Handelsblatt, renowned Oxford history professor and author Timothy Garton Ash discusses the perils, ironies and demands of Britain’s shocking E.U. exit vote – and the specter of a possible re-vote.

Analysis and Commentary

If You Think Britain Is Angry And Divided, Look At The Continent

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Friday, July 1, 2016

Now is not the time for knee-jerk responses to the Brexit vote. Better to watch the shifting jigsaw and make the right move.


As A Lifelong English European, This Is The Biggest Defeat Of My Political Life

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Friday, June 24, 2016

The fallout from the referendum vote will pit the two souls in my breast against each other. How did it come to this?


Free Speech Is Under Attack, From Beijing To Istanbul

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, May 12, 2016

Britain, the land of George Orwell, must stand up against this anti-liberal tide, and keep its government’s hands off the BBC.

Analysis and Commentary

Two Spirits Of Liberty

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Chronicle of Higher Education
Sunday, May 8, 2016

The world could use more of Christopher Hitchens’s courage and Isaiah Berlin’s tolerance.

Analysis and Commentary

How The West Was Lost – And Why We Need It Back

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, April 28, 2016

The ties between Europe and the US have loosened, but there are still huge global challenges – Russia, China, the Middle East, climate change – we can only face together.

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Borders and Barriers

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 18, 2016

Overwhelmed by migrants and terrified of terrorists, Europe is rebuilding walls that only recently came down.


England Can Be True To Itself, If Liberals Reclaim Patriotism

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Friday, April 15, 2016

Nationalism and worse blight the landscape, but the flag of St George doesn’t have to blow to the right.


Can Angela Merkel Prevent Europe Being Eaten Away At Its Core?

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, March 17, 2016

The German chancellor is at the heart of the EU project. But the migrant crisis and this week’s election reverse pose unprecedented threats.


Rhodes Hasn’t Fallen, But The Protesters Are Making Me Rethink Britain’s Past

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Friday, March 4, 2016

The Oxford students have a point. We do need to acknowledge the pain caused by empire.