Charles Neal Ascherson (born October 5, 1932) is a Scottish journalist and writer.
He was born in Edinburgh and educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, where he read history. He was described by the historian Eric Hobsbawm as "perhaps the most brilliant student I ever had. I didn't really teach him much, I just let him get on with it."
After graduating with a starred First, he declined offers to pursue an academic career. Instead, he chose a career in journalism, first at the Manchester Guardian and then at The Scotsman (1959-1960), The Observer (1960-1990) and the Independent on Sunday (1990-1998). He contributed scripts for the 1974 documentary series World at War and the 1998 series The Cold War. In recent years, he has also been a regular contributor to the London Review of Books.