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Home » Books » Biography » Political

The File: A Personal History

By Timothy Garton Ash

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Format: Paperback, 256 pages, Main Edition
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 July 2009
In 1978 Timothy Garton Ash went to live in Berlin to see what that divided city could teach him about tyranny and freedom. Fifteen years later, by then internationally famous for his reportage of the downfall of communism in Central Europe, he returned to look at his Stasi file which bore the code-name 'Romeo'. Compiled by the East German secret police, with the assistance of both professional spies and ordinary people turned informer, it contained a meticulous record of his earlier life in Berlin.In this memoir, he describes rediscovering his younger self through the eyes of the Stasi, and then confronting those who had informed against him. Moving from document to remembrance, from the offices of Britain's own security service to the living rooms of retired Stasi officers, The File is a personal narrative as gripping, as disquieting, and as morally provocative as any fiction by George Orwell or Graham Greene. And it is all true.

Promotional Information

Timothy Garton Ash lived behind the Berlin Wall and joined the millions spied on by the Stasi. In 1993, he gained access to his Stasi file. Here he tells his story, in a classic memoir of dictatorship and betrayal. 'A chilling portrait of treachery and compromise... bravely and beautifully written' John le Carre

About the Author

Timothy Garton Ash is the author of eight books of political writing or 'history of the present' that have charted the transformation of Europe over the last three decades. He is Professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His essays appear regularly in the New York Review of Books and his weekly column for the Guardian is widely syndicated in Europe, Asia and the Americas. He has received many awards for his writing, including the Somerset Maugham Award and the Orwell Prize.

Reviews

"* 'He is our best informed and beadiest commentator on Europe - eloquent, sceptical, fearless, with a tinge of idealism so wary as to be acceptable' - Craig Raine * 'Garton Ash is, in the most literal sense of the term, a contemporary historian. He writes primarily as a witness to the events he is treating, and not just as an outside witness but often as an inside one as well... yet the sense of the historic dimensionof the events in question is never lost. And the quality of the writing places it clearly in the category of good literature.' - George F. Kennan, New York Review of Books"

EAN: 9781848870888
ISBN: 1848870884
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 1.7 centimetres (0.16 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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