Timothy Garton Ash is a renowned historian, columnist, essayist and author. He is currently director of the European Studies Centre and a Gerd Bucerius Senior Research Fellow in Contemporary History at St. Antony's College, Oxford. He is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, a fellow of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Arts and a governor of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. The recipient of a number of prestigious awards, including the Somerset Maugham Award and Order of Merits from the Federal Republic of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, Timothy Garton Ash frequently writes for leading newspapers and magazines and has a weekly column in The Guardian. Timothy Garton Ash is the author of eight books, the latest of which is Free World: Why a Crisis of the West reveals the Opportunity of our Time (Random House, 2004). Timothy Garton Ash holds a degree in modern history from Exeter College, Oxford, and another at a graduate level from St. Anthony's College, Oxford. Having spent several years researching the German resistance to Hitler at the Freie Universitat in West Berlin and the Humboldt University in East Berlin, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was able to travel widely behind the iron curtain.