Listen Here

The Times says Niall Ferguson is the “most brilliant British historian of his generation.” He hails from Scotland precisely, and he’s now a U.S. citizen, just like Watching America’s host, Dr. Alan Campbell.

In this conversation between these two British-Americans, we hear about Ferguson’s latest book, "Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe." Ferguson claims that all disasters in some sense are human-made, and we’re not getting any better at managing them. In fact, bureaucratic inertia and general incompetence are making things worse.

Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe 

Aside from a massive meteor strike, disasters can't be studied apart from economics, culture, and politics, according to Ferguson.

Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, former Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and current senior fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University; a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and founder and managing director of advisory firm, Greenmantle LLC. He is the author of 16 books.

Ferguson's six-part PBS television series, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, won an International Emmy for best documentary in 2009.