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Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Senior Faculty Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

 

 

By Date

 

2016

Gage Skidmore/CC

November 22, 2016

"Donald Trump’s new world order"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

“It Can’t Happen Here.’’ That was the title of Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel in which the fascistic Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip is elected president and within months transforms the United States into an American Reich. Well, maybe it just did happen here.

 

 

White House

November 14, 2016

"Was the election a vote against ‘Hamilton’?"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

“Yo. Ev’ry action has an equal, opposite reaction.”

The box office-busting musical “Hamilton’’ could not have been more timely. Apart from anything else, it has reminded Americans that the politics of their republic has always been a blood sport. At least this year we didn’t have an actual duel of the sort that killed Alexander Hamilton in 1804.

 

 

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

October 17, 2016

"Trump’s a Galaxy. Or is he a Sputnik?"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

In the age of the smartphone, it’s just too good an analogy to pass up. Increasingly, as his presidential campaign flames out, Donald Trump is the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 of American politics, a phone so hurriedly assembled that it spontaneously combusts. That would make Hillary Clinton the iPhone 7. She’s essentially the same as your current president, just harder to connect to, and with inferior e-mail security.

 

 

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

October 10, 2016

"Theresa May’s Abbanomics and Brexit’s new class war"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

“If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means.”

Those were the key words of a speech by Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham last week. My response — as a fully paid-up member of the rootless cosmopolitan class — was: Ooh la la!

Welcome to the new class war, Brexit edition.

On one side, the citizens of the world — the Weltbürger — who are only citizens in the sense that Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane was a citizen. We have at least two passports. We speak at least three languages. And we have at least four homes, not one of them in the town where we were born.

 

 

Joe Raedle/AP Pool

October 3, 2016

"Simplifiers v. complicators"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Last Monday night we saw the first of three showdowns between a terrible complicator — Hillary Clinton — and a terrible simplifier — Donald Trump.

 

 

Andrew Harnik/AP

September 19, 2016

"The fight isn’t going Clinton’s way"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Slumped in the Democratic corner, her haggard visage being fanned by anxious trainers, is Clinton, candidate of the status quo. Impatiently bouncing off the ropes on the other side of the ring is the overweight, orange-featured personification of very, very risky change. The status quo’s margin of advantage suddenly looks much smaller than anyone thought in the dog days of summer.

 

 

AP Photo

September 2016

"Why the President Needs a Council of Historians"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, The Atlantic

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School and Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

We urge the next president to establish a White House Council of Historical Advisers. Historians made similar recommendations to Presidents Carter and Reagan during their administrations, but nothing ever came of these proposals. Operationally, the Council of Historical Advisers would mirror the Council of Economic Advisers, established after World War II. A chair and two additional members would be appointed by the president to full-time positions, and respond to assignments from him or her. They would be supported by a small professional staff and would be part of the Executive Office of the President.

 

 

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

July 31, 2016

"As the Fishtown hordes rally to Trump, Hillary’s elite risks coming apart"

Op-Ed, The Sunday Times

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

In his prophetic 2012 book, Coming Apart, my friend Charles Murray identified the stark social division that is defining this year’s presidential election.

 

 

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

July 25, 2016

"Paranoid Republidents for Trump"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

What comedy! What a circus! Melania Trump’s speech was ripped off from one of Michelle Obama’s. Donald Trump’s affectionate, er, grope of his daughter Ivanka was weirdly inappropriate. His air kiss of vice presidential pick Mike Pence was an air miss. And the new Republican rock anthem, “Make America Great Again,” appeared to have been written by the creators of “South Park.’’

This is a representative sample of the things said by members of the American elite about last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Ignore it all. Their sneering is just irrelevant noise. The signal was what mattered and, though it was loud (and at times monotonous), it was also very clear.

 

 

Russell Watkins

July 18, 2016

"From Trollope to Trump"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

To understand what has just happened in Britain, mystified Americans are advised to read the novels of Anthony Trollope. I especially recommend “Framley Parsonage.’’ There is a wonderful parody there of a Victorian change of government, which dashes the political ambitions of the unscrupulous Harold Smith, briefly elevated to the Petty Bag Office.

Harold Smith has been brought into the Cabinet by Lord Brock, the prime minister, but swiftly falls foul of his jealous friend Mr. Supplehouse, who savages him in an article in the “Jupiter.’’ Then, with breathtaking suddenness, the Brock government is overthrown.

 
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