Historian and rock-star intellectual Niall Ferguson speaks tonight on the William Jewell College campus. His lecture — "Sinking Globalization: What Could Go Wrong?" — starts at 7:30 and, given the subject matter, should end in time for next month's holiday sales. A few years ago, one-man book machine Ferguson told an interviewer, "I dabble in economic history and then flirt with military history and then hang out for a little bit with the diplomatic history, and even do some cultural history." Pretty modest for a guy whose titles require a double-wide business card: Laurence A. Tisch professor of history at Harvard University and William Ziegler professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. At 44, he has turned up in pretty much every nook of modern thought short of American Idol. Ferguson speaks at the school's John Gano Memorial Chapel (500 College Hill in Liberty, 816-781-7700). Earlier in the day, he lends his ideas to a 3:30 p.m. roundtable discussion at Jewell's nearby White Science Center. The topic: "The End of Europe: The Economic, Social and Political Decline of an Idea." Both cheery events are open to the public and cost the same in dollars, euros or yen: nothing.
Thu., Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m., 2008