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 Garton Ash

Intellectual Odyssey: Conversation with Timothy Garton Ash, 4/4/96 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation on International Affairs. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Timothy Garton Ash, who is a Fellow of St. Antony's College, Oxford. Garton Ash is the 1996 Elberg Lecturer at Berkeley. Throughout the 1980s he reported and analyzed the emancipation of Central Europe from communism in contributions to the New York Review of Books and other journals. His publications include The Polish Revolution: Solidarity; The Uses of Adversity: Essays on the Fate of Central Europe; The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague; and most recently, In Europe's Name: Germany and the Divided Continent.

  1. Background ... education ... interest in Germany ... becoming a "historian of the present"
  2. The Writer without Blinders ... writing as an art ... research frustration ... learning to listen ... reporting on Eastern Europe ... the failure of political science theory
  3. The Observer versus the Participant ... description and analysis versus prescription ... pitfalls of success as a writer on politics ... crossing the line in the Solidarity strike
  4. Intellectuals in Politics ... ongoing debate with Havel ... adversarial relationship between power and truth ... politics and half-truths ... the danger of becoming "a Kissinger" ... moral outrage and the work of intellectuals
  5. The End of Communism ... explaining communism's demise ... the West German model ... the Polish elections ... freedom versus economic security
  6. Defining Europe ... Europe as an ideal ... the resilience of national interests ... defining European values
  7. Issues Confronting Europe ... Germany's place in Europe ... the role of the U.S. ... the lessons of Bosnia
  8. Conclusion ... advice to students

See also Garton Ash's biography and the text of his speech as 1996 Sanford S. Elberg Lecturer in International Studies, "Is Europe Becoming Europe?"

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