Facts are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade without a Name by Timothy Garton Ash
'During times of universal deceit', wrote George Orwell, 'telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.' For more than thirty years, Timothy Garton Ash has traveled among truth tellers and political charlatans to record, with scalpel-sharp precision, what he has found. This book confirms his reputation as our foremost historian 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 dictatorship to democracy, and his dispatches from places such as Egypt, Burma and Iran, where that transformation has yet to take place. A recurring theme, of the book and the decade, is freedom and its discontents. An encounter with the drug gangs of Sao Paulo raises disturbing questions about liberal democracy; his examination of immigration and Islam in Europe challenges the cliches of multiculturalism. Often humorous mini-essays, selected from his columns in the Guardian, rub shoulders with in-depth treatments of subjects including Gunter Grass, George Orwell and Isaiah Berlin. Facts are Subversive also includes Garton Ash's most recent reportage on the election of Barack Obama and its implications for the world.