Niall Ferguson

Milbank Family Senior Fellow
Biography: 

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

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Make Chimerica Great Again*

by Niall Ferguson, Xiang Xuvia Economics Working Papers
Monday, April 16, 2018

Economics Working Paper 18105

Featured

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 Fergusonquoting 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.

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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.

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Niall Ferguson Talks About The Square and the Tower: Networks, Hierarchies, and the Struggle for Global Power from the Freemasons to Facebook

by Niall Fergusonvia Hoover Institution
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Niall Ferguson, the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution gives a talk titled, The Square and the Tower: Networks, Hierarchies, and the Struggle for Global Power from the Freemasons to Facebook.

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Trump Is Breaking All The Rules, And That Could Be Great For America

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 12, 2018

Over the past week — indeed, over the past year — President Trump has broken one political rule after another. “When I signed up to be a conservative,” an eminent Washington think-tanker said to me on Thursday, “I thought conservatism stood for free trade, fiscal responsibility, and personal character.” He might have added firmness toward dictators.

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Angela Merkel Is About To Pay For All Her Blunders

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, February 26, 2018

My German-born friend Peter Thiel — the world’s most successful contrarian — has a favorite interview question. “What important truth,” he asks tech wannabes, “do very few people agree with you on?” The important truth about which very few people agree with me is that Angela Merkel has been a political disaster. 

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Hard To See America’s ‘Success Story’ In Current Bloody Times

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Is the world turning pinker? Is all for the best (as Voltaire’s Dr. Pangloss claims in “Candide”) in the best of all possible worlds — or at least, better than in any previous state of the world? Or is the world turning a darker shade — blood red rather than pink? In the wake of yet another massacre at yet another American school by yet another political extremist with yet another screw loose and yet another assault rifle, it is hard to swallow the pinker thesis.

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The Precedent For Trump's Administration Isn't Nixon—It's Clinton

by Niall Ferguson, Manuel Rincon-Cruzvia The Atlantic
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

History is at least as much about the structures of power as it is about the personalities of “great men”—or terrible ones. Of course, a president’s idiosyncrasies matter, and the outsized and outrageous personality of the current president of the United States has riveted the public and press.

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