Episode 94: The International Man of History - Professor Niall Ferguson
In this episode, Anthony is joined by Professor Niall Ferguson, renowned historian, author of sixteen books, and the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Together, they start by discussing Niall’s decision to become a historian, despite hailing from a family of physicists, and describing himself as a “wannabe Monty Python.”
Niall shares his Cold War analogy for our current era. Starting during the Trump administration, and how the events that have happened in the US and China since then have magnified this realization with Ukraine as “the first hot war” of “Cold War II.”
They then delve into Niall’s books, starting with the most recent: Doom, which covers how humans respond to catastrophes and how resilient we are to them. It explores how fascinated we are with disaster, why we struggle so much with it, and how we exaggerate the possibility the world will end.
Finally, they discuss The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, and how this now relates to advances in cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. Niall expresses why, to him, it’s not plausible to have a future based on traditional systems, transactions and technologies. They then touch on the global inflation we’re currently experiencing, and Niall gives his predictions for how this will continue to impact the economy.
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