niall ferguson is a Scottish historian. he is the laurence a. tics prof. of history at harvard university. he is also a senior research fellow of jesus college, university of oxford, stanford university. he writes and speaks about international history, economic and financial history, and british and american imperialism. he is known for his provocative, contrarian views. ferguson’s books include empire: how britain made the modern world, the ascent of money: a financial history of the world and civilization: the west and the rest, all of which he has presented as channel 4 television series.