Leading Historian on the Global Economy
Riffing on everything from the strengths and limitation of American global power, the costs and benefits of economic globalization and the interface between finance and politics, Niall Ferguson's themes have urgent relevance to the present as well as the past. He is truly a modern historian, using the information of the past to try and navigate the fog of the future. Ferguson's book, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World is an international bestseller and the basis for a multi-part PBS television documentary.
A prolific commentator on contemporary politics and economics, Niall Ferguson writes and reviews regularly for the British and American press. He is a contributing editor for the Financial Times and a regular contributor to Newsweek. In 2004 TIME Magazine named him as one of the world's hundred most influential people. Ferguson is a regular contributor to television and radio on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2003 he wrote and presented a six-part history of the British Empire for Channel 4, the UK terrestrial broadcaster.
Niall Ferguson Speech Topics
Niall Ferguson speech topics include:
- Political Risk and the Global Business Environment
- The Ascent and Descent of Money: What Went Wrong with Western Finance?
- Globalization: Past, Present and Possible Futures
- Is the United States an Empire? Should it be?
Civilization: The West and the Rest
From one of our most renowned historians, Civilization is the definitive history of Western civilization's rise to global dominance-and the "killer applications" that made this improbable ascent possible.
The rise to global predominance of Western civilization is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five hundred years. All over the world, an astonishing proportion of people now work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed unlikely to achieve much more than perpetual internecine warfare. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? In Civilization: The West and the Rest, bestselling author Niall Ferguson argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, consumerism, modern medicine, and the work ethic. These were the "killer applications" that allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest, opening global trade routes, exploiting newly discovered scientific laws, evolving a system of representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the Industrial Revolution, and embracing a dynamic work ethic.
Civilization shows just how fewer than a dozen Western empires came to control more than half of humanity and four fifths of the world economy. Yet now, Ferguson argues, the days of Western predominance are numbered-not because of clashes with rival civilizations, but simply because the Rest have now downloaded the six killer apps we once monopolized-while the West has literally lost faith in itself. Civilization does more than tell the gripping story of the West's slow rise and sudden demise; it also explains world history with verve, clarity, and wit. Controversial but cogent and compelling, Civilization is Ferguson at his very best.
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