In 1991, after the Wall came down and the archives of Eastern Europe opened up, Timothy Garton Ash walked into the building that housed the files of the Stasi, the infamous East German secret police and asked if there was a file on him. There was - a thick one. In this work Ash describes what was in the file, and the avenues personal, political and historical, which he was led down by it. The book begins autobiographically, but opens out to show how Ash tracked down and confronted those who once pursued and monitored him. He shows how it is impossible to establish the "truth" of history and how the way we act depends overwhelmingly upon the circumstances in which we are placed.
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When Timothy Garton Ash graduated from Oxford in 1978, he went to live in Berlin, ostensibly to research and write about Nazism. But once there, he gradually immersed himself in a study of the repressive political culture of East Germany. As if to return the favor, that culture--in the form of the dreaded East German secret police, the "Stasi"--secretly began studying him. As was Stasi's practice, over the years its study produced a considerable paper trail. After the fall of the East German communist regime, a government apparatus was established to allow those targeted to see their Stasi files, and Garton Ash discovered and pored over his. He then set about to interview the people who made this gross intrusion possible, the several case officers, and the numerous regular-citizen informers. The result is nothing short of a journey into the darkest recesses of the totalitarian mind, taking its place honorably alongside 1984 and Darkness at Noon.From the Inside Flap:
"Eloquent, aware and scrupulous . . . a rich and instructive examination of the Cold War past." --The New York Times
In 1978 a romantic young Englishman took up residence in Berlin to see what that divided city could teach him about tyranny and freedom. Fifteen years later Timothy Garton Ash--who was by then famous for his reportage of the downfall of communism in Central Europe--returned. This time he had come to look at a file that bore the code-name "Romeo." The file had been compiled by the Stasi, the East German secret police, with the assistance of dozens of informers. And it contained a meticulous record of Garton Ash's earlier life in Berlin.
In this memoir, Garton Ash describes what it was like to rediscover his younger self through the eyes of the Stasi, and then to go on to confront those who actually informed against him to the secret police. Moving from document to remembrance, from the offices of British intelligence 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.
"In this painstaking, powerful unmasking of evil, the wretched face of tyranny is revealed." --Philadelphia Inquirer
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Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001200295
Book Description Book Condition: very good. 717 Gramm. Bookseller Inventory # M00002558238-V
Book Description Harper Collins Publishers, London, 1997. Softcover. Reprint. Octavo Size [approx 15.5 x 22.8cm]. Very Good condition. 227 pages A personal search through his own file begins an investigation into the world of the Stasi - the East German Secret Police - which stretches as far as Britain. Bookseller Inventory # 273910
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1997. 8°, Hardcover. Book Condition: Gut. First Edition. 240 S. Dustjacket, good condition Sprache: Englisch Gewicht in Gramm: 711. Bookseller Inventory # 393079
Book Description London: Harper Collins, 1997. First edition 8vo 226 pages Fine black cloth hard back with fine unclipped dust jacket. No inscriptions. Bookseller Inventory # 12254
Book Description HarperCollins, London, 1997., 1997. 1st edition, hardback , 8vo, 226pp, clean and tight, no inscriptions, Very Good / Very Good dustwrapper. ISBN: 0002558238. Bookseller Inventory # 215677
Book Description HarperCollins, London, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: fine. First edition, first imp. pp. 227. Signs of light use, handling, only. Bookseller Inventory # 00003390
Book Description Harper Collins, London, 1997. Cloth. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # 000004
Book Description HarperCollins, London, 1997. Cloth. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. First Edition. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 037488
Book Description HarperCollins 01/07/1997, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 6545-9780002558235