The right-wing British historian Niall Ferguson seems to have conquered America: pushing his latest perishable book, “Civilization,” this one based on the trendy and quickly dated conceit of the six (or is it seven?) “killer apps” of Western civilization; writing cover stories for Newsweek; debating foreign policy on TV with Zbigniew Brzezinski; and pouting and snarling his way through a debate about economics with Paul Krugman, Jeff Madrick and Bill Bradley. If you missed his Chicago lecture on the imminent decline of America, then at least on YouTube you can still catch him warning before the 2008 presidential election that “Islamic jihadists” and “Europeans” were hoping that John McCain would lose. Recently, it was announced that Henry Kissinger has made him his official biographer, perhaps in the hope that Ferguson, who thinks that the Kaiser should have been allowed to crush Europe, will be equally kind to Kissinger’s reputation. Time magazine in 2004 named Ferguson one of the 100 most influential people in the world, which might help to explain the condition of the world.
I’ve written before about Niall Ferguson and his contemptible, reactionary and, at times, frankly mad outlook on the world. For those of you who have the fortune of never having encountered Mr Ferguson before, this is the man who wields considerable influence in the revision of the British school history curriculum.
This excellent article from US news site Salon delivers a masterclass in deconstructing Ferguson’s inane and disturbing political agenda and suggesting why the unrepentant apologist for empire does better in the United States than he does here in Britain. Well worth a read.