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Niall Ferguson has a new book out. It's called 'Civilization: The West and The Rest'. It's a provocative look at the history of Western civilization, of empire, and imperialism. And one of its themes is that the days of Western dominance are numbered.
Neill sets out to answer some epic questions: what made the West, meaning Western Europe and North America, the masters of the modern world for centuries? And have those same heights of Western power now passed? Has the West been eclipsed by the likes of China, India, and Brazil?
The book has generated some controversy. But Niall's no stranger to criticism. Growing up in Glasgow, a fan of the Sex Pistols, Niall once said his hometown had two main industries: strikes and sectarianism.
Still, Niall found his way to Oxford, earned a Ph.D., and made a name for himself in the realm of 'counterfactual history': posing the question: What If?
What if the British stayed out of the First World War? What if Hitler stayed a painter - and stayed out of politics? But what's generated the most controversy for Niall is his argument that colonialism, on the whole, wasn't so bad. Critics say he's basically advocating for stronger American imperialism and that he's dividing the world along racial lines. We'll find out what he has to say about those charges.
Check out the rest of this week's guests right here.