Niall Ferguson

Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Niall Ferguson, Hoover senior fellow, is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and a noted author.

Ferguson's books include The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective (2010), High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg (2010), and The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (Penguin, 2008). His first book, Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation 1897–1927 (Cambridge University Press, 1995), was short-listed for the History Today Book of the Year award; the collection of essays he edited, Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals (Macmillan, 1997), was a best seller in the United Kingdom.

In 1998 he published, to international critical acclaim, The Pity of War: Explaining World War One (Basic Books) and The World's Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild (Penguin). The latter won the Wadsworth Prize for Business History and was also short-listed for the Jewish Quarterly/Wingate Literary Award and the American National Jewish Book Award. In 2001 he published The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700–2000 (Basic), the product of a year as Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England.

His books have been translated and published in numerous countries, including the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Korea, and Taiwan.

He is a regular contributor to television and radio. In 2003 he wrote and presented six-part history of the British Empire for Channel 4 n the United Kingdom. The accompanying book, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (Basic), was a best seller in both Britain and the United States. He also wrote and presented the two-hour film American Colossus, broadcast in the UK in 2004.

He has just completed a six-part history of the twentieth century, The War of the World, to be broadcast in the UK in 2006.

A prolific commentator on contemporary politics, he writes and reviews regularly for the British and American press. He and his family divide their time between the United States and the United Kingdom.

He is the recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Award for public service (2010).

Born in Glasgow in 1964, Niall Ferguson was awarded a Demyship (half-fellowship) for his academic achievements by Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1981 and graduated with First Class Honours in 1985. After two years as a Hanseatic Scholar in Hamburg and Berlin, he took up a research fellowship at Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1989, subsequently moving to a lectureship at Peterhouse. He taught for more than a decade at Jesus College, Oxford, and was then Herzog Professor of Economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University, before moving to Harvard in 2004.

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Featured

‘Chimerica’ And The Rule Of Central Bankers

by Niall Fergusonvia The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, August 27, 2015

The past week has shown us that the world economy is dominated more than ever by the symbiotic relationship of China and America.

Featured

The Meaning Of Kissinger

by Niall Fergusonvia Foreign Affairs
Monday, August 17, 2015

There are reasons other than his longevity why so many world leaders—among them the Chinese President Xi Jinping—continue to seek the counsel of Henry Kissinger, who stepped down as U.S. secretary of state close to four decades ago. In this respect, Barack Obama is unusual. He is the first U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower not to seek Kissinger’s advice.

an image
Analysis and Commentary

The Iran Deal And The ‘Problem Of Conjecture’

by Niall Fergusonvia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, July 24, 2015

Obama is hoping that the nuclear pact will lead to equilibrium in the Middle East. All the evidence points the other way.

Analysis and Commentary

The Nasty Greek Outcomes That Democracy Precludes

by Niall Fergusonvia Financial Times
Friday, July 3, 2015

Punches might be thrown. But there will not be a revolution, coup, or civil war.

Analysis and Commentary

More Keynesian Than Keynes

by Niall Fergusonvia Project Syndicate
Monday, June 1, 2015
Like most people who create an “ism,” John Maynard Keynes quickly found his followers running ahead of him. “You are more Keynesian than I am,” he once told a young American economist. Now it is the turn of his biographer, Robert Skidelsky, to become distinctly more Keynesian than Keynes.
Global Austerity
Analysis and Commentary

Deficits vs. Austerity: New Facts, Same Old Keynesianism

by Niall Fergusonvia The Globe and Mail
Saturday, May 23, 2015

“If the facts change,” John Maynard Keynes is supposed to have said, “I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?” It is a question his latter-day disciples should be asking themselves today. Long before this month’s general election, which the Conservatives won by a margin that stunned their critics, the facts about Britain’s economic performance had indeed changed. Yet there is still no sign of the Keynesians changing their opinions.

Analysis and Commentary

The Economic Consequences Of Mr. Osborne

by Niall Fergusonvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

“If the facts change,” John Maynard Keynes is supposed to have said, “I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?” It is a question his latter-day disciples should be asking themselves now. Long before the United Kingdom’s recent general election, which the Conservatives won by a margin that stunned their critics, the facts about the country’s economic performance had indeed changed. Yet there is no sign of today’s Keynesians changing their minds.

Analysis and Commentary

The UK Labour Party Should Blame Keynes For Their Election Defeat

by Niall Fergusonvia Financial Times
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Credit where credit is due. Lynton Crosby is getting the plaudits for the Conservative party’s successful election strategy, but the real architect of this victory was surely George Osborne, the chancellor. In England, the Conservatives won because Mr Osborne was right and his critics were wrong.
Taylor Jones cartoon

Are We Reliving 1914?

by Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

There are disturbing parallels—and heartening differences.

Analysis and Commentary

The ‘Divergent’ World Of 2015

by Niall Fergusonvia Wall Street Journal
Friday, January 2, 2015

Veronica Roth’s novel offers a useful way of viewing global politics and economics. Let’s hear it for Dauntless America.

Pages