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


China Poised To Challenge The US In Tech Revolution

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 20, 2017

Only in China could there already be a Museum of Internet Finance. Though most Americans have barely adopted the term “Fintech,” online banking is already old hat in Beijing. On Thursday I toured the museum with its founder, Wang Wei, who delighted in showing me exhibits like a bitcoin ATM. The cryptocurrency is just eight years old. In today’s China, that’s ancient enough to belong in a glass display case.


Cyber War I Has Already Begun

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 13, 2017

To each American administration, its war. Which will be Donald Trump’s?

Analysis and Commentary

The Hill, The Swamp, And Precursors To Trump

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 6, 2017

The president has declared war on the press. He cannot forgive the media for saying that the crowd at his inaugural was small. He is even picking fights with a TV comedy show. His press secretary is a laughing stock. Worse, the president is trying to pick and choose between news outlets, excluding some from briefings. 

US flag on military helmet

In Praise Of American Militarism

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, February 27, 2017

It was nearly 52 years ago, on March 8, 1965, that the first American combat battalions came ashore at Da Nang, South Vietnam. In the subsequent six months, the US government took the worst strategic decision of modern times: the decision to escalate that military commitment just enough to entangle the United States in the war between North and South Vietnam, but not enough to win it.

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on
Analysis and Commentary

The Global Network Has Become Dangerously Unstable

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, February 20, 2017

The world today is like a giant network on the verge of a cataclysmic outage.


Trump Needs To Pick Fights He Can Win

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, February 13, 2017

“Breaking rocks in the hot sun / I fought the law and the law won.” As a teenage punk rocker, I first heard those lines from the hoarse larynx of The Clash’s Joe Strummer. I found out only later that the song was written by the guy who replaced Buddy Holly as front-man of The Crickets. No, I don’t remember his name either.


Dr. Donald And Mr. Trump

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, February 6, 2017

“In the small hours of one morning,” Fanny Stevenson recalled, “I was awakened by cries of horror from Louis”— the author Robert Louis Stevenson. Thinking he was having a nightmare, she woke him up. “Why did you wake me?” he said angrily. “I was dreaming a fine bogey tale.”

Analysis and Commentary

The Nature Of Power In The Networked Age

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, January 30, 2017

The United States is living through a kind of Trumpian Genesis: seven days of high-speed political creation.

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Past Is Prologue

by Graham Allison, Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 27, 2017

Determined to shape the future, the new president needs to be reminded of the past. Let’s convene a council of historians. 


Can Trump’s Art Of The Deal Make America Great Again?

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, January 23, 2017

President Donald J. Trump’s favorite Twitter hashtag is #MAGA, which of course stands for Make America Great Again.