Wilson was a visionary who liked to identify himself with "forward-looking man"; Harding … was as old-fashioned as those wooden Indians which used to stand in front of cigar stores.... Wilson thought in terms of the whole world; Harding was for America first. And, finally, whereas Wilson wanted America to exert itself nobly, Harding wanted to give it a rest.
The American dream that has lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily. It has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as a man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class.
Garton Ash immersed himself much more deeply and single-mindedly than Ascherson in the politics of Eastern Europe during the final years of the Cold War. The period may have something to do with the difference. As the Eighties unfolded, the East European oppositions to Communism were steadily drawn into the magnetic field of the West's dominant ideology – the uncompromising doctrines of the Right proclaimed by Reagan and Thatcher. For Garton Ash, then an editor and contributor at the Spectator, this was a natural and desirable evolution. For Ascherson, no friend of Thatcherism, it must have posed more difficulties.
The introduction of the Christian religion into the world has produced an incalculable change in history. There had previously been only a history of nations — there is now a history of mankind; and the idea of an education of human nature as a whole, — an education the work of Jesus Christ Himself — is become like a compass for the historian, the key of history, and the hope of nations.