Simon Schama, Niall Ferguson on America
The American Future

The American Future

The British know something about rise and fall. Their Edward Gibbon wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Their own empire came and went.

Now, two big British historians and thinkers who live in the United States are thinking hard about the American future.

Simon Schama says he’s in love with America, and sees the makings of potential renewal emerging right now. Niall Ferguson admires America too, and sees — even so — the makings of disaster around us.

This hour, On Point: Simon Schama and Niall Ferguson, together, on the American future.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Simon Schama, professor of history at Columbia University. He’s an essayist for The New Yorker, and a well-known maker of historical documentaries for the BBC, PBS, and the History Channel. His new book is “The American Future: A History.”

Niall Ferguson, professor of history at Harvard University and a professor at Harvard Business School. He writes for the Financial Times, The New York Times, and Los Angeles Times. His latest book is “The Ascent of Money.”

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Schama has been reflecting recently about America’s uneasy relationship with the banking sector. And Ferguson is weighing in against going too far in re-regulating the financial markets.

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