The File

By Timothy Garton Ash,

Book cover of The File: A Personal History

Book description

In 1978 Timothy Garton Ash went to live in Berlin to see what that divided city could teach him about tyranny and freedom. Fifteen years later, by then internationally famous for his reportage of the downfall of communism in Central Europe, he returned to look at his Stasi file which…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

1 author picked The File as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Although it reads like a spy novel, this is the real-life account of a noted English journalist’s encounter with his own Stasi surveillance file. The file in question was compiled in the early 1980s by the East German secret police on Garton Ash (code name “Romeo”), then a young man living in Berlin and writing about Central European communism. Garton Ash opened his file fifteen years later, after the former German Democratic Republic made Stasi records accessible. Tracking those who tailed him, the book explores the uneasy sensation of reading one’s past life through the photographs, informant reports, surveillance notes,…

Want books like The File?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 95 books like The File.

Browse books like The File

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in East Germany, deception, and journalists?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about East Germany, deception, and journalists.

East Germany Explore 27 books about East Germany
Deception Explore 33 books about deception
Journalists Explore 185 books about journalists