"Niall Ferguson brings his renowned historical and economic depth ...." so starts the description of this bombastic claptrap of a book! Describing an author like Ferguson, as having historical depth, an author who attacks David Ickes in his preface to his puff piece on the Rothschild family, is hilarious! (Like a scholar attacking Alex Jones in America?) Ferguson, long a member of the lobbyist group for the international super-rich, the Bretton Woods Committee (brettonwoods.org), begins with the assumption that empire is a good thing, then seeks to justify the American empire? Many countries and peoples in the present, and in the past, would stridently disagree with such perverse sentiments. Did the victims of the Roman Empire, the Mongols' empire, consider themselves fortunate? One strongly doubts such pomposity of unsound cognition! The US has aggressively, in a most hostile fashion, exerted its authority and hegemony around the world, from the instigation of coups in democratic Iran and Guatemala in the 1950s, to the present day overthrow of Zelaya in Honduras (he just wanted to raise the national minimum wage by a few cents), to sanctions against Iran for their trading oil in Euros instead of the US dollar! Read P.J. Cain's and A.G. Hopkins' masterful work on the British Empire as a financial empire, and you will arrive at a much superior picture of the American Empire than you will ever get from drivel from Ferguson! (Their book, at least, was based on scholarship!)
Niall Ferguson is a great historian and wonderful story teller; there's no doubt about it. However, at times he mixes opinion with historical analysis. This is especially acute in the case of Iraq. His claim that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with the vast reserves of oil the country has "is supported" by two opinion pieces in US newspapers. His claim that the cost of the war would be about US $ 48 billion would be ludicrous if it wasn't so sad. Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard professor Linda Bilmes estimated 3 trillion! (Google it if you doubt me, or better yet, read their book.) I also wish Ferguson stayed clear of economics because his knowledge of the discipline is very limited. For example, he mentions again and again a crude theory of the quantity of money in circulation, which means - according to him - that an increase in the quantity of money will INEVITABLY lead to higher inflation. The Fed has vastly increased the supply of money since the crisis of 2008 and yet the USA is still hovering near deflation. Ferguson apparently hasn't heard of a liquidity trap, or so it seems.
2/3 os a good book
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