Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of finance, from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance.
Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it's the chains of labor. But in The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress. What's more, he reveals financial history as the essential back story behind all history.
Through Ferguson's expert lens familiar historical landmarks appear in a new and sharper financial focus. Suddenly, the civilization of the Renaissance looks very different: a boom in the market for art and architecture made possible when Italian bankers adopted Arabic mathematics. The rise of the Dutch republic is reinterpreted as the triumph of the world's first modern bond market over insolvent Habsburg absolutism. And the origins of the French Revolution are traced back to a stock market bubble caused by a convicted Scot murderer.
Niall Ferguson 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.
Niall Ferguson Financial and economic historian, Niall Ferguson, writes about how the United States financial system will be a shadow of its former self once the economic crisis ends but America will be stronger than ever. This article was first published in the July 2009 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Niall Ferguson A brilliant recasting of the turning points in world history, including the one we're living through, as a collision between old power hierarchies and new social networks
Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers, and field marshals. It's about states, armies, and corporations. It's about orders from on high. Even history "from below" is often about trade unions and workers' parties. But what if that's simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change?
The 21st century has been hailed as the Age of Networks. However, in The Square and the Tower, Niall Ferguson argues that networks have always been with us, from the structure of the brain to the food chain, from the family tree to freemasonry. Throughout history, hierarchies housed in high towers have claimed to rule, but often real power has resided in the networks in the town square below. For it is networks that tend to innovate. And it is through networks that revolutionary ideas can contagiously spread. Just because conspiracy theorists like to fantasize about such networks doesn't mean they are not real.
From the cults of ancient Rome to the dynasties of the Renaissance, from the founding fathers to Facebook, The Square and the Tower tells the story of the rise, fall, and rise of networks, and shows how network theory - concepts such as clustering, degrees of separation, weak ties, contagions, and phase transitions - can transform our understanding of both the past and the present.
Just as The Ascent of Money put Wall Street into historical perspective, so The Square and the Tower does the same for Silicon Valley. And it offers a bold prediction about which hierarchies will withstand this latest wave of network disruption - and which will be toppled.
Niall Ferguson Best-selling author and world-renowned historian Niall Ferguson has won widespread acclaim for thought-provoking works such as Civilization and High Financier. The Great Degeneration tackles nothing less than the decline of Western civilization. Ferguson posits that slowing growth, outrageous debt, and antisocial behavior are contributing to the erosion of the West’s once rock-solid foundations. Ferguson excavates the causes and shows how heroic leadership and radical reform are needed to right the course.
Steven Drobny & Niall Ferguson This revised and updated edition of Inside the House of Money lifts the veil on the typically opaque world of hedge funds, offering a rare glimpse at how today's highest-paid money managers approach their craft. Now with new commentary, author Steve Drobny takes you even further into the hedge fund industry. He demystifies how these star traders make billions for their well-heeled investors, revealing their theories, strategies, and approaches to markets.
While some still maintain that rationality permeates financial markets, Drobny captures a different dimension, showing how the unquantifiable human forces of emotion and intuition are also at play. Along the way, listeners get an inside look at firsthand trading experiences through some of the major world financial crises of the last few decades, including tragedies such as September 11th. Whether its Russian bonds, Pakistani stocks, Southeast Asian currencies, or stakes in African brewing companies, no market or instrument is out of bounds for these elite global macro hedge fund managers.
Highly accessible and filled with in-depth expert opinion, Inside the House of Money is a must-listen for financial professionals and anyone else interested in understanding how greed, fear, and the human forces of emotion drive world markets.
Niall Ferguson In this groundbreaking new biography, based on more than 10,000 hitherto unavailable letters and diary entries, best-selling author Niall Ferguson returns to his roots as a financial historian to tell the story of Siegmund Warburg, an extraordinary man whose austere philosophy of finance offers much insight today.
A refugee from Hitler's Germany, Warburg rose to become the dominant figure in the postwar City of London and one of the architects of European financial integration. Seared by the near collapse and then "Aryanization" of his family's long-established bank in the 1930s, and then frustrated by the stagnation of its Wall Street sister, Kuhn Loeb, in the 1950s, Warburg resolved that his own firm of S. G. Warburg (founded in 1946) would be different. An obsessive perfectionist with an aversion to excessive risk, Warburg came to embody the ideals of the haute banque - high finance - always eschewing the fast buck in favor of gilt-edged advice. He was not only the master of the modern merger and founder of the eurobond; he was also a key behind-the-scenes adviser to governments in London, Tokyo, and Jerusalem - to his critics, a "financial Rasputin".
Niall Ferguson The definitive biography of Henry Kissinger, based on unprecedented access to his private papers, by an acclaimed historian at the height of his powers.
No American statesman has been as revered and as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Once hailed as "Super-K" - the "indispensable man" whose advice has been sought by every president from Kennedy to Obama - he has also been hounded by conspiracy theorists, scouring his every "telcon" for evidence of Machiavellian malfeasance. Yet as Niall Ferguson shows in this magisterial biography, the idea of Kissinger as the ruthless arch-realist is based on a profound misunderstanding. Drawing not only on Kissinger's hitherto closed private papers but also on documents from more than a hundred archives around the world, Ferguson argues that the true foundation of Kissinger's thought is philosophical idealism - combined with history itself.
The first half of Kissinger's life is usually skimmed over as a quintessential tale of American ascent: the Jewish refugee from Hitler's Germany who made it to the White House. But in this first of two volumes, Ferguson shows that what Kissinger achieved before his appointment as Richard Nixon's national security adviser was astonishing in its own right. Toiling as a teenager in a New York factory, he studied indefatigably at night. He was drafted into the US infantry and saw action at the Battle of the Bulge - as well as the liberation of a concentration camp - but ended his army career interrogating Nazis. It was at Harvard that Kissinger found his vocation. Having immersed himself in the philosophy of Kant and the diplomacy of Metternich, he shot to celebrity by arguing for "limited nuclear war". Nelson Rockefeller hired him. Kennedy called him to Camelot. Yet Kissinger's rise was anything but irresistible. Dogged by press gaffes and disappointed by "Rocky", Kissinger seemed stuck - until a trip to Vietnam changed everything.
Niall Ferguson Penguin presents the unabridged audiobook edition of Empire by Niall Ferguson, read by Jonathan Keeble.
Once vast swathes of the globe were coloured imperial red, and Britannia ruled not just the waves but the prairies of America, the plains of Asia, the jungles of Africa and the deserts of Arabia. Just how did a small, rainy island in the North Atlantic achieve all this? And why did the empire on which the sun literally never set finally decline and fall?
Niall Ferguson's acclaimed Empire brilliantly unfolds the imperial story in all its splendours and its miseries, showing how a gang of buccaneers and gold diggers planted the seed of the biggest empire in all history - and set the world on the road to modernity.
Niall Ferguson In The Pity of War, Niall Ferguson makes a simple and provocative argument: that the human atrocity known as the Great War was entirely England's fault. Britain, according to Ferguson, entered into war based on nave assumptions of German aims-and England's entry into the war transformed a Continental conflict into a world war, which they then badly mishandled, necessitating American involvement. The war was not inevitable, Ferguson argues, but rather the result of the mistaken decisions of individuals who would later claim to have been in the grip of huge impersonal forces. That the war was wicked, horrific, inhuman, is memorialized in part by the poetry of men like Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, but also by cold statistics.
More British soldiers were killed in the first day of the Battle of the Somme than Americans in the Vietnam War; indeed, the total British fatalities in that single battle-some 420,000-exceeds the entire American fatalities for both World Wars. And yet, as Ferguson writes, while the war itself was a disastrous folly, the great majority of men who fought it did so with enthusiasm. Ferguson vividly brings back to life this terrifying period, not through dry citation of chronological chapter and verse but through a series of brilliant chapters focusing on key ways in which we now view the First World War.
For anyone wanting to understand why wars are fought, why men are willing to fight them, and why the world is as it is today, there is no sharper nor more stimulating guide than Niall Ferguson's The Pity of War.
Niall Ferguson The British Empire was the largest in all history: the nearest thing to global domination ever achieved. The world we know today is in large measure the product of Britain's age of empire. The global spread of capitalism, telecommunications, the English language, and the institutions of representative government - all these can be traced back to the extraordinary expansion of Britain's economy, population, and culture from the 17th century until the mid-20th.
On a vast and vividly colored canvas, Empire shows how the British Empire acted as midwife to modernity. Displaying the originality and rigor that have made him the brightest light among British historians, Ferguson shows that far from being a subject for nostalgia, the story of the Empire is pregnant with lessons for the world today - in particular for the United States as it stands on the brink of a new kind of imperial power. A dazzling tour de force, Empire is a remarkable reappraisal of the prizes and pitfalls of global empire.
Niall Ferguson Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Kissinger: The Idealist by Niall Ferguson, read by Roy McMillan.
No American statesman has been as revered and as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Hailed by some as the 'indispensable man' whose advice has been sought by every president from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush, Kissinger has also attracted immense hostility from critics who have cast him as an amoral Machiavellian - the ultimate cold-blooded 'realist'.
In this remarkable new book, the first of two volumes, Niall Ferguson has created an extraordinary panorama of Kissinger's world and a paradigm-shifting reappraisal of the man. Only through knowledge of Kissinger's early life (as a Jew in Hitler's Germany, a poor immigrant in New York, a GI at the Battle of the Bulge, an interrogator of Nazis and a student of history at Harvard) can we understand his debt to the philosophy of idealism. And only by tracing his rise, fall and revival as an adviser to Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller and, finally, Richard Nixon can we appreciate the magnitude of his contribution to the theory of diplomacy, grand strategy and nuclear deterrence.
Drawing not only on Kissinger's hitherto closed private papers but also on documents from more than 100 archives around the world, this biography is Niall Ferguson's masterpiece. Like his classic two-volume history The House of Rothschild, Kissinger sheds dazzling new light on an entire era.