Niall Ferguson

Milbank Family Senior Fellow

Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies, Harvard, where he served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. 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 is the author of fifteen books, most recently The Square and the Tower. His previous book, Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His many other prizes 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). In addition to writing a weekly column for the Sunday Times (London) and the Boston Globe, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, an advisory firm. He also serves on the board of Affiliated Managers Group. His new book, The Square and the Tower, in published in the U.S. in January.

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Recent Commentary


Face It: Trump Has Been Right About Iran And North Korea

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, May 14, 2018

To members of Washington’s foreign policy establishment, regardless of party affiliation, President Trump’s decision to exit one nuclear deal (with Iran) only to enter another nuclear deal (with North Korea) is beyond baffling.

Analysis and Commentary

An Ancient Trap Awaits China And US

by Niall Fergusonvia The Boston Globe
Monday, May 7, 2018

A hundred years ago, World War I was entering its final phase. No one in either Berlin or London had set out to expend so vast a quantity of blood and treasure on four years of industrialized slaughter. As I argued 20 years ago in “The Pity of War,” World War I was perhaps the greatest error of modern history.


Trump And The ‘Chimerica’ Crisis

by Niall Ferguson, Xiang Xuvia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, May 6, 2018

The countries’ divergence began in 2015, as Beijing took defensive steps against financial risk.

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Make Chimerica Great Again

by Niall Ferguson, Xiang Xuvia Economics Working Papers
Thursday, May 3, 2018

Economics Working Paper 18105


Trump Is Losing At Home But Winning Abroad

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, April 30, 2018

Some teams — generally the ones I support—tend to win at home and lose away. The same is true of some American presidents. Lyndon Johnson’s most enduring victories were legislative (civil rights and the Great Society), yet his presidency was destroyed abroad, in Vietnam.

Analysis and Commentary

The Internet Is The New Wheel Of Fortune

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, April 23, 2018

I am not prone to anxiety. I inherited from my parents a relatively robust mental constitution. I am rarely introspective and have never sought psychological or psychiatric help. Last week, however, I experienced an uncontrollable panic attack.


Zuckerberg’s Trip To Washington Was Classic Sci-Fi

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, April 16, 2018

I stopped reading science fiction when I turned 17. I thought reading history would give me better insights into the future. The trouble with sci-fi is that it always predicts 10 out of the next three technological innovations. The future is never as weird in reality as it is in sci-fi.

Analysis and Commentary

White Men Are Bad?

by Niall Ferguson quoting Harvey C. Mansfieldvia Boston Globe
Monday, April 2, 2018

It is not very fashionable to be a man these days, especially a white one. After the exposure of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged record of sexual assault and harassment, The New York Times ran a piece entitled “The unexamined brutality of the male libido” by the Canadian writer Stephen Marche.


Forget Facebook’s ‘Mission’: Big Zucker Is Watching You!

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 26, 2018

In George Orwell’s “1984,” the telescreen is the primary tool of totalitarian surveillance. “It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen . . . To wear an improper expression on your face . . . was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: FACECRIME, it was called.”

Analysis and Commentary

A Brief History Of The Doniverse

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 19, 2018

Finally reading Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” helped me understand American politics today.