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One Per Cent

Jonathan Steinberg: The House of Rothschild

28 October 1999
The World’s Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild 
by Niall Ferguson.
Weidenfeld, 1309 pp., £30, October 1998, 0 297 81539 3
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... two banks. By 1882, Rothschild had been much larger than Barings for decades. As early as 1825, as Niall Ferguson shows, the combined assets of the five Rothschild houses were nine times greater than the capital of Baring Brothers. Indeed, for most of the 19th century, the House of Rothschild was the biggest bank in the world by a wide margin, and the ...
13 November 1997
Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals 
edited by Niall Ferguson.
Picador, 548 pp., £20, April 1997, 9780330351324
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... the other that this week’s winner, just as the advertisements promised, could be you. If Niall Ferguson wins the jackpot, he himself is not indifferent to the news; it creates a buzz among his colleagues; the readers of his book vicariously share a warm feeling that there is justice in the world, after all; but among people beyond these ...

Watch this man

Pankaj Mishra: Niall Ferguson’s Burden

3 November 2011
Civilisation: The West and the Rest 
by Niall Ferguson.
Allen Lane, 402 pp., £25, March 2011, 978 1 84614 273 4
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... of the ‘trans-Atlantic alliance’, as in Philip Bobbitt’s Terror and Consent (2008), which Niall Ferguson in an enthusiastic review claimed will ‘be read with pleasure by men of a certain age, class and education from Manhattan’s Upper East Side to London’s West End’. Ferguson himself is homo atlanticus ...

The First Hostile Takeover

James Macdonald: S.G. Warburg

4 November 2010
High Financier: The Life and Time of Siegmund Warburg 
by Niall Ferguson.
Allen Lane, 548 pp., £30, July 2010, 978 0 7139 9871 9
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... followed by others. By 1970, 129 foreign banks in London were participating in this new market. As Niall Ferguson notes, eurobonds now comprise around 90 per cent of international bond issues; and 70 per cent of the business takes place in London. It is arguable that the development of this market, even more than the Big Bang of 1986, was the vital step ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: How to concoct a conspiracy theory

20 October 2005
... heard of the Euro-Arab Dialogue, but that only goes to show how powerful it is. And according to Niall Ferguson, ‘future historians will one day regard her coinage of the term “Eurabia” as prophetic. Those who wish to live in a free society must be eternally vigilant. Bat Ye’or’s vigilance is unrivalled.’ Western Europe is in danger from ...

Probably, Perhaps

Dan Jacobson: Wilhelm von Habsburg

14 August 2008
The Red Prince: The Fall of a Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Europe 
by Timothy Snyder.
Bodley Head, 344 pp., £20, June 2008, 978 0 224 08152 8
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... in Eastern and Central Europe. Garlanded with encomia from Timothy Garton Ash, Anne Applebaum and Niall Ferguson, the book includes a formidable assemblage of supporting documentation. It contains eight pages of ‘biographical sketches’ of people mentioned in the text; a three-page chronology of the scattered reigns and destinies of a multitude of ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: Sokal 2.0

25 October 2018
... By their friends you shall know them. Among those most delighted by this episode have been Niall Ferguson, Steven Pinker, David Deutsch and Douglas Murray: weirdly few non-white non-men. I recommend that, on their next visit to Portland, these people spend some time in a dog park or ...

Between Jesus and Napoleon

Jonathan Haslam: The Paris Conference of 1919

15 November 2001
Peacemakers: The Paris Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War 
by Margaret MacMillan.
Murray, 574 pp., £25, September 2001, 0 7195 5939 1
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... early polemic but also to such historians as Peter Krüger, Gerald Feldman, Harold James and Niall Ferguson). The core of Mayer’s message was that the Russian Revolution was central to decision-making at Paris; that when the slogan bisogna fare come en Rusia was adopted by the metal-workers in Turin, it was a sign of a new and dangerous ...

They were all foreigners

Michael Kulikowski: ‘SPQR’

7 January 2016
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome 
by Mary Beard.
Profile, 606 pp., £25, October 2015, 978 1 84668 380 0
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... and she’s entered it with wit and charm and insight rather than the intellectual thuggery of Niall Ferguson. After A Don’s Life blog and its printed spin-offs, after the misogyny she faced for daring to present a BBC2 series without the looks of a film star, and after the OBE, comes the doorstop SPQR to charm the charts and critics both. Beard ...

Wild Enthusiasts

Bernard Porter: Science in Africa

10 May 2012
Africa as a Living Laboratory: Empire, Development and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge, 1870-1950 
by Helen Tilley.
Chicago, 496 pp., £18.50, April 2011, 978 0 226 80347 0
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...  ...

The Lie that Empire Tells Itself

Eric Foner: America’s bad wars

19 May 2005
The Dominion of War: Empire and conflict in North America 1500-2000 
by Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton.
Atlantic, 520 pp., £19.99, July 2005, 1 903809 73 8
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... human rights against tyrannical regimes. Perhaps the leading current populariser of the idea is Niall Ferguson. Only an American empire, he insists, can secure order in a dangerous, unruly world. He does not deny that the US is and always has been an empire. The only question for him is whether it possesses the means to continue to act as one. His ...

Von Hötzendorff’s Desire

Margaret MacMillan: The First World War

2 December 2004
Cataclysm: The First World War as Political Tragedy 
by David Stevenson.
Basic Books, 564 pp., £26.50, June 2004, 0 465 08184 3
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... There are clearly similarities if not continuities with Hitler’s policies. Some historians – Niall Ferguson is one – have asked whether Britain would have been wiser to stay out of the war. Perhaps Europe would have been better off if Germany had won a quick victory but what, one wonders, would such a victory have entailed. The Germany of ...

A Man without Regrets

R.W. Johnson: Lloyd George

20 January 2011
David Lloyd George: The Great Outsider 
by Roy Hattersley.
Little, Brown, 709 pp., £25, September 2010, 978 1 4087 0097 6
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... the ‘man who won the war’. Hattersley accepts this estimate too easily. In The Pity of War Niall Ferguson shows that by the apparent stalemate of 1916 Germany was far nearer the end of its resources than Britain. Britain and France were always likely to be the last men standing. Inevitably, Lloyd George disliked and despised the generals and was ...

The Demented Dalek

Richard J. Evans: Michael Gove

12 September 2019
Michael Gove: A Man in a Hurry 
by Owen Bennett.
Biteback, 422 pp., £20, July 2019, 978 1 78590 440 0
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... commissioned a series of what he thought were like-minded professional historians to advise him. Niall Ferguson was one; Simon Schama was hired to convene a committee to produce a draft. But Gove wasn’t satisfied. Ferguson wanted the curriculum to have a global dimension, which wasn’t what Gove wanted at all; the ...

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