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The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague

The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague


Book Overview: The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague

The Magic Lantern is one of those rare books that define a historic moment, written by a brilliant witness who was also a participant in epochal events. Whether covering Poland's first free parliamentary elections--in which Solidarity found itself in the position of trying to limit the scope of its victory--or sitting in at the meetings of an unlikely coalition of bohemian intellectuals and Catholic clerics orchestrating the liberation of Czechoslovakia, Garton Ash writes with enormous sympathy and power.

This book is a stunningly evocative portrait of the revolutions that swept Communism from Eastern Europe in 1989 and whose aftereffects are still being felt today. As Garton Ash writes in an incisive new afterword, from the perspective of three decades later: "Freedom's battle is never finally won. It must be fought anew in every generation."

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Publication Date1999-05-01
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"[Garton Ash's] own involvement in these events, intellectual and emotional, is of such intensity that he can speak...from the inside as well as from the outside. Yet the sense of historic dimension...is never lost. And the quality of the writing places it clearly in the category of good literature." -- George Kennan

"Along with the historian's long view, Gatton Ash has an eye and an ear for the telling detail." -- Washington Past Book World

Timothy Garton Ash, a renowned historian and acclaimed author, is notably recognized for his astute analyses of European contemporary history. Born on July 12, 1955, in London, Ash attended Exeter College, Oxford, where he graduated with a degree in Modern History. After his time in Oxford, he studied in Berlin, thus furthering his passion for history, which resulted in a deep exploration of the post-war era, the fall of communism, and the process of European unification. Timothy's class-leading approach has led to him being recognized as an expert in his field, respected not just within academia but also by policymakers globally. He has authored and edited over ten books, some of which have been translated into more than fifteen languages. His most celebrated works include "The Polish Revolution: Solidarity," "The Magic Lantern," and "Free Speech: Ten Principles For A Connected World." Currently, Ash is Professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Throughout his decorated career, he has received numerous awards, including the George Orwell Prize for his contribution to political writing. More than just an academic, Timothy Garton Ash is a dedicated historian committed to understanding and explaining the complex web of modern European history.

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