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In previous years, he has been a contributing editor for Bloomberg Television Ferguson studied in 19 as a Hanseatic Scholar in Hamburg and Berlin.He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Magdalen College in 1989, and his dissertation was entitled "Business and Politics in the German Inflation: Hamburg 1914–1924". Ferguson's books include Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World and Civilization: The West and the Rest, all of which he has presented as Channel 4 television series.

In 2007, Ferguson was appointed as an investment management consultant by GLG Partners, to advise on geopolitical risk as well as current structural issues in economic behaviour relating to investment decisions.

Ferguson argues that the popular saying, "money makes the world go 'round", is wrong; instead he presented a case for human actions in history motivated by far more than just economic concerns.

He pointed out that thinkers such as Sir Isaac Newton were tolerated in Stuart England, whereas in the Ottoman Empire Takiyuddin's “blasphemous” observatory was demolished for contradicting the teachings of Islam, with resulting scientific advances in Western civilization which didn't happen in Islamic civilization.

He proposed that respect for private property,stronger in British America than in Spanish America, led to the United States and Canada becoming prosperous societies while Latin America was and remains mired in poverty.

The book also includes Kissinger's early evaluation of the Vietnam war and his efforts to negotiate with the North Vietnamese in Paris.

The Economist wrote in a review about The Idealist: "Mr Ferguson, a British historian also at Harvard, has in the past sometimes produced work that is rushed and uneven. Like Mr Kissinger or loathe him, this is a work of engrossing scholarship." This is an analytic account of what Ferguson considered to be the ten great myths of the Great War.A related documentary Civilization: Is the West History?was broadcast as a six-part series on Channel 4 in March and April 2011. He is also a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, University of Oxford, a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and visiting professor at the New College of the Humanities.In 2004, he was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.He then became a Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at Jesus College at the University of Oxford, where in 2000 he held the position of Professor of Political and Financial History.

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