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The Decline and Fall of History


Professor Niall Ferguson has been raising the alarm on the plight of history departments within the academy, particularly the American academy, for some time. Here he outlines the collapse of serious history in universities as illustrious as Harvard and Stanford.

This speech is from 2016, when Ferguson was collecting the Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.

Ferguson outlines how students can study the importance of witchcraft in preference to the Reformation and the American constitution in American history departments. In fact in department after department serious historical events are jettisoned for the whimsical and ‘diverse’. Unsurprisingly, students are voting with their feet and the numbers reading history have declined significantly.

Remember that this is what the elite are paying thousands of dollars to study at elite universities, but they are no longer receiving an elite education. These students, as Mark Steyn points out, receive credentials, not necessarily an education. These credentials give them access to the elite professionals but this should not be equated with excellence.

Ferguson argues that all historical events are not of equal importance and therefore are not worthy of equal attention. What is going on in the universities is nothing less than The Decline and Fall of History.

This demonstrates again that once the Left gets hold of an institution, its destruction is sure to follow. It’s an important watch.

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