The decline of the West is something that has long been prophesied. Symptoms of decline are all around us: slowing growth, crushing debts, aging populations, anti-social behaviour. But what is the cause? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues, is that our institutions - the intricate frameworks within which a society can flourish or fail - are degenerating.
Representative government, the free market, the rule of law and civil society: these were the four pillars of Western societies, which set them on the path to global dominance after around 1500. In our time, however, these institutions have deteriorated. Our democracies have broken the contract between the generations by heaping IOUs on our children and grandchildren. Our markets are distorted by over-complex regulations. The rule of law has metamorphosed into the rule of lawyers. And civil society has become uncivil society.
While the Arab world struggles to adopt democracy, and while China struggles to move from economic liberalization to the rule of law, Europeans and Americans alike are frittering away the institutional inheritance of centuries. To arrest the degeneration of the West, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform.
This book is based on Niall Ferguson's BBC Radio 4 Reith Lectures, which were broadcast under the title 'The Rule of Law and Its Enemies'.
After struggling through inconclusive technical arguments on subjects such as fiscal multipliers it is a relief to come across a civilised book on political economy by Niall Ferguson. Unlike most historians the author is capable of understanding the technical literature and explaining its conclusions in straightforward terms. Even if you do not believe a word of his thesis in The Great Degeneration, I guarantee an informative and enjoyable read. - Samuel Brittan, FT columnist
Brilliantly written, full of wit and virtuosity, stuffed with memorable lines and gorgeous bits of information. A great read. (The Times)
A dazzling history of Western ideas ... epic (Economist )
This is sharp. It feels urgent. Ferguson... twists his knife with great literary brio (Andrew Marr (On Civilization) )
A masterpiece ... fascinating facts burst like fireworks on every page (Sunday Times )
Brings history alive for the reader with a dazzling knowledge ... peerless (Independent on Sunday )
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/