On Tuesday 8 October, The Forum hosted Professor Niall Ferguson, who spoke to a group of 50 boys on a wide range of topics and engaged in spirited discussion with them.

During the course of the evening Professor Ferguson discussed the British Empire and how he came to the conclusions in his book ‘Empire’. He addressed the issue of Henry Kissinger’s controversial role in US foreign policy in the 1970s, which is the focus of the second volume of his biography.

Professor Ferguson also spoke of the Thucydides trap in the context of the rising power of China, including how American foreign policy needs to adjust in order to prevent a future conflict, although he argued that we are nearing a new Cold War with China, rather than an increased likelihood of armed conflict. The latter half of the evening was dominated by a discussion on the virtue of studying history in the first place, whether it can be applied to modern issues and whether we can, or should, engage in counter-factual history.

Overall, it was a fascinating evening and we were honoured to have had Professor Ferguson join us for such an intriguing discussion.