Harvard historian Niall Ferguson threatens suit over bad review





Niall Ferguson, a historian who teaches at Harvard, has responded to a negative review of his book "Civilization: The West and the Rest" with an angry letter and by saying, "Don't force my hand by forcing me to put it in the hands of lawyers." The long review, threaded through with analyses of Ferguson's previous works and related histories, was written by Pankaj Mishra and appeared in the Nov. 3 issue of the London Review of Books:

Ferguson himself is homo atlanticus redux. In a preface to the UK edition of Civilisation: The West and the Rest, he writes of being seduced away from a stodgy Oxbridge career, early in the 2000s, to the United States, ‘where the money and power actually were’....

Ferguson, setting aside his expertise in economic history, emerged as an evangelist-cum-historian of empire. He was already arguing in The Cash Nexus, published a few months before the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, that ‘the United States should be devoting a larger percentage of its vast resources to making the world safe for capitalism and democracy’ – if necessary by military force. ‘Let me come clean,’ he wrote in the New York Times Magazine in April 2003, a few weeks after the shock-and-awe campaign began in Iraq, ‘I am a fully paid-up member of the neoimperialist gang.’...



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