This is a presentation by Niall Ferguson on “The Decline and Fall of History.” It is a supreme depiction of what is wrong with the humanities in the university, particularly history.
His thesis – of the top twenty issues in history of the West, (inclusive of such topics as constitutional democracy, the Civil War, Western intellectual history, diplomatic and international history, social and economic history, the Reformation, the scientific revolution, the Enlightenment, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the industrial revolution, World Word I, the Great Depression and others) there are barely any course offerings at Harvard, Stanford and Yale. Instead there are courses such as the history of emotions, witches in Western history, etc. No wonder, he says, those majoring in history have declined precipitously as the academy no longer teaches serious history. Ferguson posits that this state of academy is not going to change. The teaching of real history is down for the count.
One of the highlights of the presentation is Ferguson’s sampling of what course offerings there are. Hold onto your hats. Laughable.
This presentation is seriously worth the viewing.