Lack of Objectivity - an essay on Timothy Garton Ash's We The People

Essay by pumpkin_pieCollege, UndergraduateA-, March 2004

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Lack of Objectivity

Timothy Garton Ash's We the People, takes an in depth look at the fall of communism during a time of political chaos. He is witness to some of the most historical events in history. Although his accounts of these events are detailed thoroughly, it can not be believed that they are perfectly accurate. Not only does Ash witness these incredible moments in time, he also takes part in them. His partaking of these events makes his depiction of them bias, and therefore not necessarily reliable.

In April of 1989 Ash finds himself in a coal-mine in Upper Silesia. He is there to observe the first public meeting of Solidarity in which the candidates for election to parliament were to be announced. To his surprise, the Solidarity chairman introduces him to those that are at the meeting. Rather than simply introducing himself and his intentions, Ash gives a speech that appears to be in support of the opposition leader, Adam Michnik. '[...] the name of Adam Michnik [...] [has] become a synonym for integrity, courage and resistance.' (Ash, 12) He then goes on to say that if indeed they choose to vote for Michnik, that the West would likely give more money to help Poland. The fact that Ash chooses to make a speech takes away his credibility of the events of that day. He is no longer just an observer and recorder; he is now part of a political event.

While Ash is in Budapest he is witness to yet another remarkable event in history. The formal burial of Imre Nagy. During the ceremony many speeches are made. And as accounted by Ash, in not one of these speeches does anyone mention Janos Kadar, the

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man directly responsible for the execution of...