Thursday, May 15, 2008

One of our favorite classes at Harvard

Keith and I (and actually quite a number of the other Fellows) really enjoyed Niall Ferguson's Western Economies, Societies and Politics (1648-present)class. He is a masterful lecturer, with a definite right of center and Brit-centric perspective. I've never seen anyone pull so much information and data into such tight and engaging presentations that, remarkably enough, usually end right on time. His adept use of PowerPoint proves that P.P. does not have to be an instrument of torture and, in fact, can be used for good. And he's a pretty sharp improviser as well, providing a few laughs here and there when something unexpected arises.

We particularly loved the data that he brought into the discussion of history. It provided great context and perspective. It was also great fun to watch him discuss historical figures for whom he has great disdain, for example Jean-Jacques Rousseau. There is a sample lecture of his on the Harvard Extension site.

If you ever happen to have the chance to see him lecture don't miss it!

As an aside, he sort of looks like he could be related to Charlie Tillinghast, the president of the company I used to work for.

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