Niall Ferguson

Senior Fellow

Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies, Harvard. He is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation Distinguished Scholar at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. He has written fourteen books, including The House of Rothschild, Empire, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, The Great Degeneration, and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist. His 2011 feature-length film Kissinger won the New York International Film Festival’s prize for best documentary. His PBS series The Ascent of Money won the International Emmy for best documentary. His many prizes and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013). He writes a weekly column for the London Sunday Times and the Boston Globe.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

The False Prophecy Of Hyperconnection

by Niall Fergusonvia Foreign Affairs
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

[Subscription Required] It is a truth universally acknowledged that the world is connected as never before. Once upon a time, it was believed that there were six degrees of separation between each individual and any other person on the planet (including Kevin Bacon).

Analysis and Commentary

What The Second Most Powerful Man In China Is Reading This Summer

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, August 14, 2017

If you are stuck for a book to read on the beach this August, I recommend Stefan Zweig’s “Decisive Moments in History.” Originally published in 1927, Zweig’s book is now largely forgotten.


The Biggest Threat To Free Speech? The Left

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, August 7, 2017

With few exceptions, American conservatives respect the Constitution. The modern American left, by contrast, thirsts to get rid of one of the most fundamental protections that the Constitution enshrines: free speech. 


From Fubatics To Robotics

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, July 31, 2017

It was this time last year that it first occurred to me that the U.S. presidential election was a choice between two World War II acronyms: SNAFU and FUBAR.


The Meaning Of Dunkirk

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, July 24, 2017

Traditionally, the British have two ways of responding to disaster. The elites are prone to panic. They wave their arms, indulge in lamentations, wish they could turn the clock back, then recommend orderly surrender. Ordinary people, by contrast, tend to make the best of a bad job. This state of mind is often summed up in the Second World War slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

Analysis and Commentary

Donald Trump And John F. Kennedy Are More Similar Than You Think

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, July 17, 2017

It is much worse than you thought. It is much, much worse. I can reveal that the president is a serial philanderer who is compulsively unfaithful to his wife. He suffers from severe medical problems, which he and his staff are concealing from the press. One of his mistresses is also romantically involved with a notorious gangster.


Is The US Headed For A Showdown With North Korea?

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, July 10, 2017

“The growth in the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Sparta made war inevitable.” This is the most famous line of Thucydides’s “History of the Peloponnesian War”. Will a future historian one day write that the growth in the power of China, and the alarm which this inspired in America, made war equally inevitable?

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A More Imperfect Union

by Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 7, 2017

Britain’s separation from the EU: not merely a new political and legal arrangement but a deep and permanent schism. 


Cool Your Jets About Paris

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, June 5, 2017

It was as if the world’s oceans rose by a foot in a day. No decision since President Trump’s election has aroused a bigger storm than his decision last week to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. 


The Value Of Trump’s Vow With The Saudis To Battle Extremism

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, May 29, 2017

The problem we face is not complicated. A movement is spreading all over the world that interprets religious texts in the most literal way. This movement encourages young men and women to believe that violence against unbelievers is not merely legitimate but praiseworthy. Its moral code is so warped that it praises as a “soldier” a man who straps a bomb to his own body and detonates it in a concert hall, killing 22 defenseless people, among them an eight-year-old girl.