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


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.

Analysis and Commentary

Here’s How To Argue With A Brexiter – And Win

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Details of a tortured Brussels deal are not crucial when the fate of both Europe and the UK is at stake.


When Economists Ignore The Human Factor, We All Pay The Price

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Friday, February 5, 2016

Economics is not a hard science, and mathematical models won’t explain why people behave as they do. A much broader perspective is needed.


Whether Brexit Or Bremain, Fear Will Triumph Over Fear

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, January 21, 2016

Brexit or Bremain? That is the question British voters may have to answer in just five months’ time on 23 June, if David Cameron’s renegotiation ends with a deal at the EU summit in February.

Analysis and Commentary

The Pillars Of Poland’s Democracy Are Being Destroyed

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, January 7, 2016

With attacks on the constitution, media and civil service, events have taken a dangerous turn. The country’s traditional friends should raise their voices.

Analysis and Commentary

After Her Finest Hour, Merkel Now Needs Help From All Europe

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Germany’s welcome to migrants was laudable. But their successful integration will be a huge challenge.

Analysis and Commentary

Europe’s Walls Are Going Back Up – It’S Like 1989 In Reverse

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Sunday, November 29, 2015

Once they tumbled down. Now barriers are being rebuilt literally, psychologically and metaphorically. And not just because of Paris and the refugee crisis.


Europe Is In Crisis: This Is No Time For Petty-Mindedness

by Timothy Garton Ashvia The Guardian
Friday, November 13, 2015

If David Cameron shows he cares about the EU, he may find our partners more receptive to his demands.

Analysis and Commentary

Poland Has Survived Worse Than This Shift To Conservatism. Don't Despair

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Guardian (UK)
Monday, October 26, 2015

Despite the victory of the Law and Justice party, the country still contains powerful forces in favour of liberal, constitutional, European values.

Analysis and Commentary

Is the China Model Better Than Democracy?

by Daniel Bell, Timothy Garton Ash, Andrew J. Nathan, Taisu Zhangvia Foreign Policy
Monday, October 19, 2015
[Registration required] Meritocracy could avoid the pitfalls of American-style politics -- at least in theory.