Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and a Bloomberg Opinion columnist

Niall Ferguson: Why AI won’t kill you and what Sam Altman got wrong

33 min listen

Celebrated historian Niall Ferguson, author of 17 books including Civilisation, a biography of Kissinger, a biography of the Rothschild family and Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe comes into to discuss AI. He recently wrote that the AI doomsdayists, including those behind the petition for a six month moratorium on AI development, should be taken seriously.

Trump’s second act: why he can still win, in spite of everything

47 min listen

This week: Having been found guilty of sexual assault, is Donald Trump still in the running for the White House? In his cover piece, Niall Ferguson says he could still defy gravity. He joins the podcast alongside Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest. (01:00)  Also this week: Journalist Andrew Watts interviews the Reverend Canon

Trump’s second act: he can still win, in spite of everything

Everyone knows F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous line from the end of his unfinished novel The Last Tycoon: ‘There are no second acts in American lives.’ But Fitzgerald wasn’t talking about second chances. He meant that, unlike in a traditional play – where Act I presents a problem, Act II reveals the complications and Act III

Volodymyr Zelensky is a hero of our time

When the Queen died, I was on my way to Kyiv. My mind focused on the war in Ukraine, I found myself uncharacteristically lost for words when I was asked to comment. I took refuge in the complexities of the journey, which involved a delayed flight from Rome to Lublin, a frantic drive to Chelm

Vlad the Invader

35 min listen

In this week’s episode: What does Putin really want for Russia? For this week’s cover story, Niall Ferguson writes about how Putin seems to be trying to recreate the Russia of the Past, while this week’s diary by Timothy Garton Ash says the West has misunderstood his intentions, Niall and Timothy join the podcast along

Vlad the Invader: Putin is looking to rebuild Russia’s empire

‘War’, in Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz’s most famous dictum, ‘is nothing but a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means.’ A generation of Democrats — the American variety, but also European Christian and Social Democrats — have sought to ignore that truth. Appalled by the violence of war, they have vainly

The predictive power of science fiction

The pandemic is not quite over, but we are getting used to its inconveniences. What disaster will be next? An antibiotic-resistant strain of the bubonic plague? Climate collapse? Coronal mass ejection? Will the next catastrophe be natural — perhaps a massive volcanic eruption, the likes of which we have not seen for more than two

The China model: why is the West imitating Beijing?

26 min listen

In this week’s podcast, we talk to the author of our cover story, eminent author, historian and broadcaster Niall Ferguson, who advances the theory that the West and China are in the throes of a new cold war which the Unites States is on course to lose, should the Biden administration continue to following Beijing’s

The China model: why is the West imitating Beijing?

‘There’s an osmosis in war, call it what you will, but the victors always tend to assume the… the, eh, trappings of the loser,’ says one of the officers in Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead. ‘We might easily go fascist after we win.’ Americans have long been haunted by the notion of the

The tech supremacy: Silicon Valley can no longer conceal its power

36 min listen

Joe Biden won the US election, but is Big Tech really in power? (00:45) Churches are allowed to open during lockdown, but should they? (13:20) And can comfort eating and cosy socks replace human connections? (25:50) With historian Niall Ferguson; New York Times editorial board member Greg Bensinger; Father Jonathan Beswick; The Very Reverend Peter

Corona wars: will either Trump or Xi win?

44 min listen

Historian Niall Ferguson writes in this week’s cover piece that, even before coronavirus, the Cold War between America and China was already getting underway. With the current pandemic, animosity between the two superpowers has only increased. So when it comes to the geopolitics of the ‘corona wars’, who will win? Niall tells Cindy on the podcast

Why Trump and Xi might both lose the corona wars

The Covid-19 pandemic came along just as Cold War II was getting under way between the United States and the People’s Republic of China — the superpowers of our time — with the European Union and a good many other US allies quietly hoping to be non-aligned. Far from propelling Beijing and Washington towards détente

The people’s decade: how will history come to define the 2010s?

The 1960s were swinging. The 1970s were stagflationary. In the 1980s we made loadsamoney and greed was good. The 1990s were dot.commy. And the 2000s were the boom and bust decade. Characterising ten-year periods in this casual way is something journalists love to do. It’s deplorably unscientific and yet pleasingly decentralised. A consensus simply emerged

Diary – 27 June 2019

I spent the early part of last week in London, filming what are known in the television trade as PTCs (‘pieces to camera’). These will form the connecting tissue for a three-part documentary series loosely based on my most recent book, The Square and the Tower. Ten years ago, I did a lot of this

Silicon Valley made Trump. Will it now confront him?

In the 1962 Japanese sci-fi classic King Kong vs Godzilla, the two giant monsters fight to a stalemate atop Mount Fuji. I have been wondering for some time when the two giants of American social media would square up for what promises to be a comparably brutal battle. Finally, it began last month — and

Take it from a divorcee: Brexit will cost you dear

I suppose there are such things as amicable divorces. Mine wasn’t. Like the First World War, it was fought for more than four years, and ended with the Treaty of Versailles (by which I mean that it imposed territorial losses and the payment of annual reparations for a very long time). Which brings me to

Diary – 2 June 2016

In 1873, when Jules Verne published his Around the World in Eighty Days, it seemed worth betting that a circumnavigation of the globe could be achieved in less than three months. Having just completed the feat in roughly three weeks, I feel like a slowcoach. (I gather it can be done on scheduled flights in

Sorry, America, but it looks like Joe Biden is your next president

I have a sinking feeling that Joe Biden might be the next president of the United States. In a brilliant essay published by the American Spectator in 2010, Angelo Codevilla of Boston University foresaw a popular revolt against ‘America’s ruling class’. What he calls ‘the Country party’ repudiates the co-option of the mainstream Republican party

Pedant’s revolt

It used to be that the most annoying thing in academic life was political correctness. But a new irritant now threatens to supplant it: the scourge of correct politicalness. The essence of correct politicalness is to seek to undermine an irrefutable argument by claiming loudly and repetitively to have found an error in it. As