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'During times of universal deceit', wrote George Orwell, 'telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.' For more than thirty years, Timothy Garton Ash has travelled among truth-tellers and political charlatans to record, with scalpel-sharp precision, what he has found. This book confirms his reputation as our foremost cartographer of the present. Facts are Subversive contains Garton Ash's eye-witness accounts of the fate of countries, including Serbia, Poland and Ukraine, making the transition from authoritarianism to democracy, and his dispatches from places such as Egypt, Burma and Iran, where that transformation has yet to take place.
It also investigates freedom and its discontents. An encounter with the drug gangs of Sao Paulo raises questions about liberal democracy; a visit to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina shows how quickly civilization can give way to chaos; while an examination of immigration in Europe raises profound questions about the limits of multiculturalism. Facts are Subversive also includes Garton Ash's reportage on the American presidential election of 2008 and his assessments of what Barack Obama will mean for United States and the world.
This is contemporary history on a scale both panoramic and human: urgent, exhilarating and necessary.
Timothy Garton Ash is the author of eight books of political writing - 'history of the present' - which have charted the transformation of Europe over the last three decades. He is professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford, where he is Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony's College, 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 acreoss Europe, Asia and the Americas. He has received many awards for his writing, including the Somerset Meugham Award and the Orwell Prize.