Monday, December 14, 2009

Taking the Long View

It is easy to get caught up in the issues of the day and lose sight of important long-term structural developments. That is why I appreciate Niall Ferguson's work as it provides a broad, long-term perspective on recent events. Via Joe Wisenthal, here is Ferguson's latest interview where, among other things, he discusses the long-run outlook for the United States in terms of security, finance, and influence:


  1. Paul Kennedy's "Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" is also of great interest, and so is Mancur Olson's "Rise and Fall of Great Nations". Ultimately, politics triumphs economics. The rising power of special interest groups saps the strength of great economies. The ongoing slow decline of the US is one more data point. I wonder where future historians will pinpoint the beginning of the end of the US rise? I'd pick around 1970 was the first straw in the wind, with a pick up in the speed of decline around 2000.

  2. I have Kennedy's book setting on my desk to read.

    BTW, any thoughts on my proposal? I have an outline of the book I can send you as well as some of the other authors.

  3. David, appreciate the offer but with 5 courses to teach this spring (2 new preps) I could not commit to anything until the summer.