Niall Ferguson's compelling tour de force, Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World is published to coincide with a Channel 4 TV series. Ferguson, author of The Pity of War and The Cash Nexus, does not so much provide a synoptic survey of the British empire since the 17th century, as an arresting argument about why it arose, and how it fell. Ferguson's emphasis throughout is on the pursuit of economic profit and military might.
Piracy overseas and a taste for sugar and spice at home, combined with an unerring ability to vanquish rival European powers such as the Dutch and French in the dash for stash and status across the globe. But Ferguson is also alive to the peculiarities of British dominion: the manly and Christian civil service--less than a thousand strong--who ruled India, missionaries such as Livingstone, who explored and mapped as they preached and the barons of empire--Rhodes, Curzon, and Kitchener--who found in empire an outlet for their homoeroticism.
The book is brilliant and persuasive on trade and buccaneering before 1750, on India, on the late Victorian imperial mentalité, and on the two world wars, but less convincing on the empire of white settlement, and strangely silent on the most difficult colony of all, Ireland. In the end, Ferguson's penchant for polemic gets the upper-hand--the book closes with a controversial balance-sheet of the gains and losses of the British imperial experience--but he provides a riveting read nonetheless. --Miles Taylor
"Brilliantly challenges the simplistic focus on racism, violence and exploitation...A concise and lucid exposition...Popular history at its best." -- Washington Post
"Fluently written, engaging, beautifully designed and spectacularly illustrated...Empire is a model of how to do popular history." -- The Economist
"Though Empire is scrupulous scholarship, it is also a rattling good tale." -- Wall Street Journal
Niall Campbell Douglas Ferguson (born April 18, 1964, in Glasgow) is a British historian who specialises in financial and economic history as well as the history of colonialism. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University as well as William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and also currently the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics. He was educated at the private Glasgow Academy in Scotland, and at Magdalen College, Oxford.
The Times Higher Education noted his "pugnacious undergraduate life and debating style". In 2008, Ferguson published The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World which he also presented as a Channel 4 television series. Both at Harvard College and at LSE, Ferguson teaches an undergraduate class entitled "Western Ascendancy: The Mainsprings of Global Power from 1600 to the Present."
Ferguson is a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is a resident faculty member of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, and an advisory fellow of the Barsanti Military History Center at the University of North Texas.
In May 2010 he announced that the Education Secretary in the U.K's newly elected Conservative/Lib Dem government had invited him to write a new history syllabus—"history as a connected narrative"— for schools in England and Wales.
In October 2007, Niall Ferguson left The Sunday Telegraph to join the Financial Times, where he is now a contributing editor.
Личен сайт: http://www.niallferguson.com/