‘An invaluable document for our time, bravely and beautifully written; a chilling portrait of treachery and compromise and an unsolved human riddle that will not let me go.’ John le Carré
‘By far the wisest and most penetrating study of a communist "informer society" ever written by an outsider.’ Neal Ascherson, Independent on Sunday
In 1992, after the Berlin Wall came down, Timothy Garton Ash walked into the ministry which now looks after the records of the Stasi, the East German secret police, and asked if there was a file on him. There was – one marked ‘Romeo’. The File is the story of what was in the buff-coloured binder, and of the avenues – personal, political and historical – down which Garton Ash was led by it.
‘The File is history on the hoof: part reportage, part memoir, often crafted more like a novel than a piece of non-fiction. It is about "the quieter corruption of mature totalitarianism", about official record versus personal memory… Garton Ash knows exactly which buttons to press for our illumination.’ JULIAN BARNES, Sunday Times
‘Excellent and fascinating… An inspiring book.’ PHILIP HENSHER, Mail on Sunday
‘A masterpiece… It has found its place on that small shelf of books I would want to rescue if my house went up in flames.’ Paul OESTREICHER, Tablet
‘Real life Le Carré.’ Jeremy Paxman, Sunday Times Summer Reading