Niall Ferguson

Doom: A Conversation with Niall Ferguson on the Politics of Catastrophe

As a deadly pandemic and civil unrest swept across the world last year, “unprecedented” became the word of the hour. While 2020 was an uncommon year, the tendency to think that our time has no historical analogue is a common error—one that can have serious consequences if it causes us to ignore the lessons of the past.
Books &

Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe (Penguin), by Niall Ferguson

Financial historian Niall Ferguson was dismissed as a worrier in Davos, in early 2020, when he warned that a new virus from an obscure city in China would become a pandemic. But in Doom, he’s honest enough to admit that he was wrong on other points. In his weekly column he parroted the notion of zero COVID mortality for anyone under 40. He also confesses that he may have been a super spreader because of his jet-lagged schedule—and that early on he had COVID symptoms.

Niall Ferguson — Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe

Setting the annus horribilis of 2020 in historical perspective, Niall Ferguson explains why we are getting worse, not better, at handling disasters. Disasters are inherently hard to predict. Pandemics, like earthquakes, wildfires, financial crises, and wars, are not normally distributed; there is no cycle of history to help us anticipate the next catastrophe. But when disaster strikes, we ought to be better prepared than the Romans were when Vesuvius erupted, or medieval Italians when the Black Death struck. We have science on our side, after all.
EnvironmentLiterary Hub

Niall Ferguson on the Dangers of Focusing on a Single Disaster Scenario

Hosted by Andrew Keen, Keen On features conversations with some of the world’s leading thinkers and writers about the economic, political, and technological issues being discussed in the news, right now. In this episode, Andrew is joined by Niall Ferguson, the author of Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, to discuss...
Books & LiteraturePopMatters

‘Doom’ Illustrates Niall Ferguson’s Historical Flaws

It’s … flip. It’s … glib. It’s journalism. That is how Hector, the well-loved if problematic grammar schoolteacher in Alan Bennett’s 2004 play, The History Boys describes the methods of Irwin, a rising star of a teacher whose smooth and telegenic style he views as dangerously shallow. Bennett reportedly based that character in part on Niall Ferguson, though likely also on other historians well known in the United Kingdom for their attention-seeking TV-friendly style and willingness to lob out bracing but not always supported ideas to kick up a fuss. Bennett’s satire of a style he characterized as “a free-floating state of suspended cleverness” may be slightly too all-encompassing, but it’s recognizable to anybody who has seen Ferguson on camera or read him at any length.
Public HealthRadio NB

Niall Ferguson & A Historian’s View Of Pandemic Panic

Dive into the fray with host Ben Domenech, publisher and co-founder of The Federalist, as he welcomes Niall Ferguson, Ph.D. Dr. Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the author of a number of titles including Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe. In...

“U.S. Isn’t Going To Ban Bitcoin,” Says Renowned Financial Historian Niall Ferguson

Recently, renowned financial historian Dr. Niall Ferguson wrote about Bitcoin as part of an article about the future of money. According to the bio on his website, Ferguson is currently the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution (part of Stanford University), which is “a public policy think tank promoting the principles of individual, economic, and political freedom.”