Why was the response of the UK and US to the coronavirus pandemic so bungled? How can we be better prepared when the next disaster strikes? These are the questions that historian Niall Ferguson will be answering when he comes to Intelligence Squared on May 5 to discuss the ideas in his new book Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe. While much of the media has blamed populists like Boris Johnson and Donald Trump for their poor leadership in the face of the pandemic, Ferguson will argue that while neither performed well, to see the story of Covid-19 as a morality play is to miss the more profound pathologies that were at work – pathologies already visible in our responses to earlier disasters.
Drawing on multiple disciplines including economics, network science and data analysis, Ferguson will offer a general theory of disaster from which governments can learn. States, he will argue, need to stop focusing on the last disaster and preparing for it to happen again; and they need to stop myopically obsessing about one particular threat – climate change – and prepare for a panoply of possible disasters.
Ferguson will be in conversation with historian and broadcaster Rana Mitter. Join us as they discuss how we can learn lessons from the pandemic and make our societies and systems more resilient.
‘The most brilliant historian of his generation’ – The Times
Book bundles include one ticket for the online discussion, plus a copy of Niall Ferguson’s book Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe with free UK P&P. Books will be posted within 1-2 weeks of the event finishing. Click here to purchase a book bundle.
Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe by Niall Ferguson is available to buy from Primrose Hill Books, for £20 (RRP £25) including free UK P&P. Intelligence Squared+ subscribers receive further discounts on other books featured in our events. Click here for more information and to subscribe.
If you are already a subscriber please log in to purchase the discounted book.
Click the book jacket below to purchase the book.