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, was published in the U.S. in January.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

From TrusTed To ElecTed

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, April 11, 2016

I cannot imagine Ted Cruz as president of the United States. Despite his emphatic defeat of Donald Trump in the Wisconsin primary. Despite the ever-louder chorus of voices saying he is the only man who can deny Trump the Republican nomination.


Tay, Trump, and Artificial Stupidity

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, April 4, 2016

I have to admit that DeepMind’s AlphaGo computer had me worried when it trounced the world champion at the Chinese board game Go last month.


It Takes A Network To Defeat A Network

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 28, 2016

The word of the week has been “network.” I have lost track of the number of times I have read that a terrorist network carried out last Tuesday’s lethal attacks in Brussels. The same is now being said about Sunday’s massacre in Lahore. Terrorists used to belong to “groups” and “organizations.” Increasingly, however, we say they belong to networks.


The Rise Of Caveman Politics

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 21, 2016

In our time, women have been gaining political power as never before.


A ‘Catastrophe Of Epic Proportions’

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, March 14, 2016

There is a powerful symbolism in the impending collapse of Iraq’s Mosul dam. Built on the cheap by Saddam Hussein in the early 1980s, it holds back up to 2.9 trillion gallons, roughly twice as much as Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. We all know what happened when Hurricane Katrina breached the levees around Pontchartrain’s south shore in 2005.


Barack Obama’s Revolution In Foreign Policy

by Niall Fergusonvia The Atlantic
Sunday, March 13, 2016

When you think you’re the smartest person in the room, it’s tempting to make up your own grand strategy.


Is The US Having A Populist Moment?

by Niall Ferguson quoting Victor Davis Hansonvia Boston Globe
Monday, February 29, 2016

Panic is setting in. “Watching Donald Trump’s rise, I now understand … exactly how Hitler could have come to power in Germany,” writes my Harvard colleague, political theorist Danielle Allen.

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The Struggle For Mastery In Europe

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, February 22, 2016

European negotiations were once glamorous. Five centuries ago, when Henry VIII met the French king Francis I near Calais, there was so much Tudor bling that the venue became known as the Field of Cloth of Gold.


Financial Panic Or Slow Burn?

by Niall Fergusonvia Boston Globe
Monday, February 15, 2016

In the best-known scene of “The Revenant,’’ Leonardo DiCaprio is hideously mauled by a bear. The world’s investors now know exactly how that feels.

Analysis and Commentary

Henry Kissinger Provided Strategic Vision In Dangerous Times

by Niall Ferguson mentioning Henry A. Kissingervia The New York Times
Saturday, February 13, 2016

For Bernie Sanders to call Henry Kissinger “one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country,” is a reminder that, for all his appeal to younger Democrats, Sanders is a throwback to a bygone era.