Niall Ferguson, fully Niall Campbell Douglas Ferguson

Ferguson, fully Niall Campbell Douglas Ferguson

British Historian, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford

Author Quotes

Without the spread of British rule around the world, it is hard to believe that the structures of liberal capitalism would have been so successfully established in so many different economies around the world.

The availability of Asian savings in the early 2000s depressed interest rates in the west, which meant that the debt game could be played for longer before a contraction became necessary. That's the way to really understand the past few years.

There aren't many people who really put their life on the line for human freedom.

The British press has an insatiable appetite for making public things that should be private. It's a prurience that I've never understood.

There really is no such thing as ?the future?, singular. There are only multiple, unforeseeable futures, which will never lose their capacity to take us by surprise.

The Clash of Civilizations Huntington's sense still feels remote possibility. Rather, we see the same kind of transition that 500 has ended the year almost always in favor of the West. One of civilization weakens, another more stronger. The crucial question is not to enter into a fight, but swung to the lower of weakness or outright chaos.

Those empires that adopted alternative models?the Russian and the Chinese?imposed incalculable misery on their subject peoples. Without the influence of British imperial rule, it is hard to believe that the institutions of parliamentary democracy would have been adopted by the majority of states in the world, as they are today. India, the world?s largest democracy, owes more than it is fashionable to acknowledge to British rule. Its elite schools, its universities, its civil service, its army, its press and its parliamentary system all still have discernibly British models.

The debate that I'm interested in having is with seriously smart people about how we design institutions in the 21st century that will genuinely address problems of poverty and educational underachievement.

Through pure accident of birth, I've managed to stay relatively youthful.

The financial crisis is really a relatively small historic phenomenon, which has accelerated this huge shift, which ends half a millennium of Western ascendancy.

Today, the average Korean works a thousand hours more a year than the average German. A thousand? That is the end of the Great Divergence.

A historian is battling all the time to remember as much as possible.

History is our interpretation of past thoughts that happened to be written down or otherwise preserved. We do not really study [historical] causes, but what people at the time thought were the causes. And our aim in retrieving their thoughts is not so much to explain how things happened as to understand how they seemed to have happened.

If being rightwing is thinking that Karl Marx's doctrine was a catastrophe for humanity, then I'm rightwing.

One of the main arguments that I make in my new book, 'The Great Degeneration,' is that the rule of law in the U.S. is becoming the rule of lawyers.

A year ago, it was possible to write about the potential for civil war in Iraq. Today that civil war is well underway.

Hitler?s goal, was to enlarge the German Reich so that it embraced as far as possible the entire German Volk and in the process to annihilate what he saw as the principal threats to its existence, namely the Jews and Soviet Communism (which to Hitler were one and the same). Like Japan?s proponents of territorial expansion, he sought living space in the belief that Germany required more territory because of her over-endowment with people and her under-endowment with strategic raw materials. Hitler wanted not merely a Greater Germany; he wanted the Greatest Possible Germany. Given the very wide geographical distribution of Germans in East Central Europe, that implied a German empire stretching from the Rhine to the Volga. Nor was that the limit of Hitler?s ambitions, for the creation of this maximal Germany was intended to be the basis for a German world empire that would be, at the very least, a match for the British Empire.

If the financial system has a defect, it is that it reflects and magnifies what we human beings are like. Money amplifies our tendency to overreact, to swing from exuberance when things are going well to deep depression when they go wrong. Booms and busts are products, at root, of our emotional volatility.

Only in England would 'professor gets divorced and remarried' be a story.

American Empire- it is an empire that lacks the drive to export its capital, its people and its culture to those backward regions which need them most urgently and which, if they are neglected, will breed the greatest threats to its security. It is an empire, in short, that dare not speak its name. It is an empire in denial.

I can't imagine having a conversation about 'Celebrity Big Brother' in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

If there is one educational policy I would like to see adopted throughout the United Kingdom, it would be a policy that aimed to increase significantly the number of private educational institutions ? and, at the same time, to establish programmes of vouchers, bursaries and scholarships to allow a substantial number of children from lower-income families to attend them.

Oral history is a recipe for complete misrepresentation because almost no one tells the truth, even when they intend to.

Americans could once boast proudly that their system set the benchmark for the world; the United States was the rule of law. But now what we see is the rule of lawyers, which is something different.

I can't think of anything I would rather do with my money than buy my children the best possible education.

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British Historian, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford