His books include Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation 1897-1927 (1993), Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals (1997), The Pity of War: Explaining World War One (1998), The World’s Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild (1998), The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000 (2001), Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (2003), Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire (2004), The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (2006) and The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (2008).
Ferguson has written and presented five major television series, including The Ascent of Money, which won the 2009 International Emmy award for Best Documentary. His most recent books are High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg (2010) and Civilization: The West and the Rest (2012), also a major TV documentary series.
A weekly columnist for Newsweek and a contributing editor for Bloomberg TV, Niall Ferguson divides his time between the United States and the United Kingdom. He is currently working on a life of Henry Kissinger. The film based on his interviews with Kissinger won the 2011 New York Film Festival prize for Best Documentary.
The London Sunday Times called Civilization “a masterpiece … a pulsing energy suffuses his account and fascinating facts burst like fireworks on every page”. In 2004 Time magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Please note that while this speaker’s specific fee falls within the range posted (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.
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- "Niall Ferguson was a great draw to our conference and lived up to all our expectations as a guest speaker. He understood perfectly what we were hoping for and our audience were captivated by his highly intelligent but easy to understand address."
Veronica Coupland, Special Events Manager
"Niall Ferguson is the best speaker we′ve hired for our hedge fund events. Not only is he a brilliant speaker with a vast array of financial and historical anecdotes at his finger tips, he′s also a down to earth, approachable guy. He will energize the audience with his engaging analysis of geopolitics, history and finance."
"Niall is a historian with a good grasp of economics, and a willingness to challenge head-on, conventional beliefs. He is highly articulate, engages the audience directly, and seems able to speak easily on a wide range of topics. He′s one of the most capable and stimulating speakers I′ve ever seen."
Max Darnell, CIO
"Niall Ferguson′s keynote speech at our annual conference in Montreux, [in June 2006] on the likelihood of a return to the gold standard, was both entertaining and informative. Delegates gave him the highest rating of all the speakers on their feedback forms."
Stewart Murray, Chief Executive
London Bullion Market Association
Civilization: The West and the Rest
From one of our most renowned historians, Civilization is the definitive history of Western civilization′s rise to global dominance-and the "killer applications" that made this improbable ascent possible.
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. These were the "killer applications" that allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest, opening global trade routes, exploiting newly discovered scientific laws, evolving a system of representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the Industrial Revolution, and embracing a dynamic work ethic. Civilization shows just how fewer than a dozen Western empires came to control more than half of humanity and four fifths of the world economy.
Yet now, Ferguson argues, the days of Western predominance are numbered-not because of clashes with rival civilizations, but simply because the Rest have now downloaded the six killer apps we once monopolized-while the West has literally lost faith in itself.
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot: 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 labour. 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.The evolution of credit and debt was as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilization, from ancient Babylon to the silver mines of Bolivia. Banks provided the material basis for the splendours of the Italian Renaissance, while the bond market was the decisive factor in conflicts from the Seven Years’ War to the American Civil War.
With the clarity and verve for which he is famed, Niall Ferguson explains why the origins of the French Revolution lie in a stock market bubble caused by a convicted Scots murderer. He shows how financial failure turned Argentina from the world’s sixth richest country into an inflation-ridden basket case – and how a financial revolution is propelling the world’s most populous country from poverty to power in a single generation.
Yet the most important lesson of the financial history is that sooner or later every bubble bursts – sooner or later the bearish sellers outnumber the bullish buyers – sooner or later greed flips into fear. And that’s why, whether you’re scraping by or rolling in it, there’s never been a better time to understand the ascent of money.
Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire
Acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson ranges across the entire history of America’s foreign entanglements and delves into all the dimensions of American power—military, economic, cultural, and political. The result is a book whose conclusions are as convincing, and troubling, as they are original. Ferguson demonstrates that America has always been an empire in denial and shows the fateful consequences of its special brand of imperialism. He examines the challenges to the United States from its principal rivals, the European Union and China, and offers a compelling analysis of the connection between the country’s domestic economic health and its foreign affairs—the bottom line of imperialism, American style. Colossus is a peerless reckoning with American power that should be read by any thinking citizen of this unspoken empire.
- The Ascent and Descent of Money: What Went Wrong with Western Finance?
- Globalization: Past, Present and Possible Futures
- Is the United States an Empire? Should it be?
- Are Capitalism and Democracy Bound to Win?
- Political Risk and the Global Business Environment
- High Liquidity and Low Volatility in Historical Perspective
- To Have and Have Not: Commodities in the Long Run
- Business Empires: How Big Companies Rise and Fall