After the treason of the intellectuals

Niall Ferguson must be one of the three most prominent historians writing in English today. He is the author of 16 books. Late last year he wrote the timely and trenchant essay “Treason of the Intellectuals.” Now he follows up that essay with the lecture “After the Treason of the Intellectuals” at the University of Austin, where he is Founding Trustee. With Ferguson’s invocation of Max Weber, the lecture put me in mind of Steve Hayward’s address to incoming graduate students at Pepperdine’s school of public policy at the beginning of this academic year.

This is the talk Ferguson gave at the University of Austin’s Founding Class of 2028 reception. It is in part a description of the state of higher education and in part a motivational talk for incoming students. He speaks from notes in front of a fiery backdrop that seems to serve as a metaphor — he calls it “a simulated apocalyptic landscape” –for the spirit of his remarks. The nascent University of Austin bids to join Hillsdale College as one of our essential educational institutions.

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