Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:
 Ferguson

See also the 2006 interview
with Niall Ferguson:
"The War of the World"

See also the 2008 interview
with Niall Ferguson:
"The Ascent of Money"

Money and Power: Conversation with Niall Ferguson, John Herzog Professor of Financial History, New York University; November 3, 2003 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Niall Ferguson, who holds the John Herzog Chair in Financial History at New York University. He is the Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College at Oxford University, and is a visiting fellow this fall at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He's the author, most recently, of Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... reading Tolstoy ... personal touch in history
  2. Being a Historian ... crossing disciplinary lines ... holistic perspective ... counterfactual history ... "what if" Britain had stayed out of World War I ... looking at the alternatives considered by historical actors ... reassessing historical judgments ... distinguishing knowledge of contemporaries from hindsight
  3. Money and Power ... becoming interested in financial history ... causal arrows go both ways ... the "power square" diagram ... war-making and the institutions of the modern state ... circles of influence
  4. History, Theory, and Creativity ... methodological differences in the social sciences
  5. The State and Global Politics ... importance of globalization ... lessons of the study of the Rothschilds ... power of finance important but not absolute ... lessons and contribution of the British Empire ... differences with U.S ... unwillingness of pre-9/11 U.S. to assume global responsibilities ... republican constitution produces weak leaders ... American delusion about empire ... discomfort with casualties ... national debt and the welfare state
  6. Lessons Learned ... history and the policy debate ... advice to students

See Niall Ferguson's website.

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