Skip to main content


After Hyperpower: The United States and the Next War of the World

In this first part of the 2007-2008 Chicago and the World Forum series, noted historian Niall Ferguson discusses the devastating factors that led to 20th century violence and consider whether such violence is avoidable in the future. With a focus on imperial decline, economic volatility, and ethnic conflict, Ferguson will identify key challenges confronting today's leaders. How long can U.S. leaders navigate the violent tides of history, which historical analogies are relevant, and what strategies and policies should be pursued to avoid the mistakes of the past?

Niall Ferguson is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is also a senior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford University, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. A prolific commentator on contemporary politics and economics, Ferguson writes and reviews regularly for the British and American press. He is a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and in 2004 Time named him one of the world's one hundred most influential people. In 2008, PBS will screen a television adaptation of his latest book, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West.
Gone are the days when candidates for America's highest office could shy away from discussing America's role in the world.  Issues such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran's nuclear program, immigration reform, and trade imbalances may determine how most Americans will vote in 2008.  In anticipation of the enormous public interest in U.S. foreign policy, distinguished public figures will speak to The Chicago Council on Global Affairs as part of its year-long Chicago and the World Forum series: Road to 2008: American Leadership in an Uncertain World.

This series, beginning in November 2007, explores America's role from historical, strategic, and policy perspectives. It will continue in spring 2008, with noted experts who will discuss the major international issues the next administration will face, including the future of international institutions, conflict in the Middle East, the rise of China, and managing transatlantic partnerships.
Recorded Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at InterContinental Hotel.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.