Homelands: A Personal History of Europe
The Wm. Roger Louis Lecture
In Homelands: A Personal History of Europe, Timothy Garton Ash offers a unique account of the history of Europe since 1945, and especially over the last 50 years. This is an unusual genre: history illustrated by memoir and reportage. Garton Ash draws on his extensive notes of events witnessed, places visited and historymakers encountered (from Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev to Václav Havel and Vladimir Putin) to make a larger argument about the rise and then faltering of the project of building ‘Europe whole and free’. He identifies 2008 as the beginning of what he calls the ‘downward turn’; and argues that the post-war period famously analyzed by Tony Judt segued into what he calls the post-Wall period, which began on 9 November 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and ended on 24 February 2022, with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Timothy Garton Ash has been travelling in, studying, writing and worrying about Europe for 50 years. He is a professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford. He is the author of numerous books of contemporary history and political writing, including The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of ’89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, & Prague and most recently Homelands: A Personal History of Europe. In 2017 he was awarded the International Charlemagne Prize for services to European unity.
The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partner (the George Washington University History Department) for their continued support.
History and Public Policy Program
The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs. Read more
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