90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Pros and Cons of Being An Empire
photo

Scotsman Niall Ferguson is the historian liberals love to hate. He is – the British press points out – precociously right-wing, a little too rich, and annoyingly handsome.

He also has a penchant for empires, for looking back and seeing the good in the British Empire. For looking out today and wishing an American empire were doing better. Iraq? Stay forty years, he says.

Problem is, says Niall Ferguson, Americans are ambivalent about projecting power — and they are drowning in debt. Debt so huge it could swamp even a superpower. And sooner than you might think.

Hear a conversation with imperial historian Niall Ferguson on the American way of debt and empire.

Guests:

Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, and a Professor at Harvard Business School

Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst and Senior Editor at the Atlantic Monthly.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 30, 2014
St. Louis county police officers advance on protestors trying to shut down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP)

Police shootings, cop culture, body cameras. And the big debate over how to protect the public and the police.

Sep 30, 2014
In this Jan. 15, 2013, photo, Rosser Pryor, Co-owner and President of Factory Automation Systems, examines a new high-performance industrial robot at the company's Atlanta facility.  (AP)

Nicholas Carr says automation, all over, is turning us into zombies. Out of touch with the world. He’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 29, 2014
A 1597 map of Lesbos / Mytilene, Greece by Giacomo Franco. (Flickr / Creative Commons)

How Aristotle invented science. The great ancient Greek, and life on Earth.

 
Sep 29, 2014
In this March 8, 2012 file photo, Peter Thiel speaks in San Francisco. (AP)

Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel; the entrepreneur, investor and the PayPal co-founder’s call for deep invention.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 26, 2014
Friday, Sep 26, 2014

All of you love to listen to old broadcasts when we play them, and Taylor Swift loves the Internet.

More »
Comment
 
NPR’s Chris Arnold On Garnished Wages
Wednesday, Sep 24, 2014

NPR’s Chris Arnold took part in a remarkable new reporting series tackling the rise of garnished wages as a way to pay off debt. He talked to us today about the series.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment