Niall Ferguson travels through China to find out how a fifth of humanity can live under a Communist system of government with a capitalist economy when, according to all the laws of history, it should fall apart.
Held together for more than 2000 years, firstly by imperial rule and now by an imperious Communist Party, what does China stand for? Ferguson talks to the people who know — including its new billionaires, survivors of Chairman Mao’s regime, ardent young nationalists and those defending China’s rural poor.
Here is Niall’s series on China from 2012.
Niall Ferguson is one of the world’s leading historians of the global economy and author of such internationally-acclaimed works as The Ascent of Money, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order, Lessons for Global Power, and The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. His new book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, is an international bestseller and basis for a multi-part television documentary.
Controversial, expansive, and eloquent, Ferguson has been called “the most talented British historian of his generation”. But the ambitious themes he explores in his work have urgent relevance to the present as well as the past: the costs and benefits of economic globalization; the interface between finance and politics; the lessons to be learned from the British experience of empire; and most recently, the strengths and limitation of American global power.