Facts Are Subversive
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Facts Are Subversive

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  72 ratings  ·  11 reviews
One of Britain's most influential and admired commentators presents his latest volume of dispatches from a troubled world. This fascinating collection includes essays from the last ten years on Islam and freedom, Orwell as an informer, the Lives of Others and Gunter Grass in the Waffen-SS. Timothy Garton Ash witnessed the fall of Milosevic in Serbia, visited Aung San Suu K...more
Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published (first published July 1st 2009)
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Frank Kelly
Garton Ash, the great observer and chronicler of Germany and Eastern Europe pre- and post collapse of the Iron Curtain, has compiled some of his best essay from the last ten years in this excellent new book.

Beyond being an extraordinarily gifted historian and writer, Ash covers a panoply of issues ranging from the significance (and occasional banality) of national anthems to the rise of China to the role of religion (and lack thereof) in modern Europe.

But I was particularly struck by Ash's com...more
Chris
This is a collection of Timothy Garton Ash's pieces published from 2000 to 2009. However, they concern modern world history - with a slight emphasis on Europe and the United States, roughly from the end of the second World War to today. Consequently, the subtitle is literally true, but ever so slightly misleading. As a journalist whose pieces I frequently read and have consistently enjoyed in the New York Review of Books, I saw this collection and had to give it a chance. Many of his pieces for...more
Lorenzo Berardi
What we have here is a very good collection of articles, political essays, book and movie reviews along with public speeches turned into ink on paper by Timothy Garton Ash, one of those people teaching at Oxford University and being rather proud of it.

"Facts Are Subversive" could have easily ended up as a messy pot-pourri of intellectual exhibitionism, but luckily it stands far from it thanks to a very clever editing. The idea of putting a world map at the beginning of the book with the titles o...more
Bob
Only read a few chapters but so far Mr. Ash has hit upon a number of things that I've long believed. He doesn't recognize the "American Revolution" as a revolution at all. It was really secession. Violent revolutions never succeed. Europeans are much more aware of their history. Americans share much of that but we have forgotten it. Reagan was only a bit player in the fall of the Berlin Wall. Most of the credit goes to Gorbachev. The most important year in 20th century European history was 1989....more
Andy Oram
Collections or anthologies face two common problems, both of which I
found in this book. First, each article was written to make a
particular point at a particular moment, and the interests of the reader
at the current moment may be different, even if only a year or so
separates the two. Second, one expects a different level of insight
and research from short articles from what one expects in a book, so the
collection is not likely to make a satisfying book. That said, I
learned some interesting things...more
Alex
Definitely a good read. I was hoping for more of a Euro centric collection of writing but was happy with the contents nonetheless as I read the only book by TGA at my local library.

Looking back at the contents however, I'm struck by how little of the book is actually about Europe or European issues. Here are the main section titles for anyone that's interested:

1) "Velvet Revolutions, continued...
2) Europe and Other Headaches
3) Islam, Terror and Freedom
4) USA! USA!
5) Beyond the West
6) Writers and...more
Megan Jones


I must admit that I did not realize this was a collection of essays rather than a book, and I don't tend to like collections of essays. Upon reading the introduction I thought his thesis sounded interesting and supportable. I did not find that his choices of essays were very related to his thesis. I did learn a lot about eastern European revolutions and he did have some interesting views on terrorism, but I found myself wishing he had just written a book supporting his thesis.
Thiago
Aprendi muito sobre esta década, que deveria ser a dos fatos que mais lembro. Ler o livro me fez pensar que não sei nada. No bom sentido, de te dar desejo de ler, buscar e estudar mais, para talvez um dia chegar a saber muito.
Miguel Ángel Moreno
Numerosa colección de artículos y ensayos de TGA. Los hay más interesantes, los hay menos interesantes pero entretenidos y los hay que he leído en diagonal.
severyn
Rather good, especially on Europe, which is nice given the dearth of balance, sensible writing on the subject.
Linny
couldn't get into, essays from his writings. Conservative.
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