By Timothy Garton Ash
"Eloquent, conscious and scrupulous . . . a wealthy and instructive exam of the chilly warfare past." --The long island Times
In 1978 a romantic younger Englishman took up place of abode in Berlin to work out what that divided urban may perhaps educate him approximately tyranny and freedom. Fifteen years later Timothy Garton Ash--who used to be by way of then well-known for his reportage of the downfall of communism in imperative Europe--returned. This time he had come to examine a dossier that bore the code-name "Romeo." The dossier have been compiled by way of the Stasi, the East German mystery police, with the help of dozens of informers. And it contained a meticulous checklist of Garton Ash's prior lifestyles in Berlin.
In this memoir, Garton Ash describes what it used to be prefer to rediscover his more youthful self in the course of the eyes of the Stasi, after which to head directly to confront those that really expert opposed to him to the key police. relocating from rfile to remembrance, from the workplaces of British intelligence to the residing rooms of retired Stasi officials, The dossier is a private narrative as gripping, as disquieting, and as morally provocative as any fiction by way of George Orwell or Graham Greene. And it's all true.
"In this painstaking, robust unmasking of evil, the wretched face of tyranny is revealed." --Philadelphia Inquirer
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Extra info for The File: A Personal History
Catherine the Great’s lover Gregory Potemkin was made a knight of the Order of St. Andrew, Russia’s highest order. He was given the Black Eagle by Prussia and the White Eagle by Poland. Denmark bestowed upon him the Order of the Elephant, and Sweden the St. Seraph. Joseph II of Austria made him a prince of the Holy Roman Empire. Louis XV balked at giving the empress’s lover the Order of the Holy Ghost, claiming it was only for Roman Catholics, and the prudish George III ﬂat out refused to give him the Order of the Garter.
And, indeed, her home court was eager to surround her with as many compatriots as possible to inﬂuence her on behalf of her native land. As for the bride herself, she was glad to see familiar faces and speak her mother tongue. But this inﬂux of outsiders caused ill will in her new country from courtiers unwilling to see their remunerative positions go to babbling foreigners. In 1600 Princess Marie de Medici of Tuscany, the bride of Henri IV, arrived with a throng of Italians itching to be awarded positions at the French court.
Bristling with pride in her royal birth, Elizabeth Charlotte was devastated at such a misalliance for her only son. ”29 The duc de Saint-Simon related that after hearing the news of the betrothal, Madame “was walking briskly, handkerchief in hand, weeping without restraint, speaking rather loudly, gesticulating, and giving a ﬁne performance of Ceres after the abduction of Proserpina. . [The next day Madame’s] son approached her, as he did every day, in order to kiss her hand; at that moment Madame slapped his face so hard that the sound was heard several paces away, which, in the presence of the entire court, deeply embarrassed this poor prince.
The File: A Personal History by Timothy Garton Ash