The War of the World
About the Show
Controversial historian Niall Ferguson argues that the last century was one of continual worldwide conflict, caused by empires engaged in ethnic conflict
Series 1 Summary
Controversial historian Professor Niall Ferguson argues that in the last century there were not in fact two World Wars and a Cold War, but a single Hundred Years' War. It was not nationalism that powered the conflicts of the century, but empires.
It was not ideologies of class or the advent of socialism driving the century, but race. Ultimately, ethnic conflict underpinned 20th-century violence
Finally, it was not the west that triumphed as the century progressed - in fact, power slowly and steadily migrated towards the new empires of the East.
The first film in the series shows that the First World War ignited fires of racial animosity that were exploited by new and more terrible nation states that were far more preoccupied with national and racial purity. It was the beginning of an age of genocide.
Professor Niall Ferguson examines how the Wall Street Crash of 1929 shattered the American dream, bringing on the Great Depression.
In 1942, the the 20th Century teetered on a knife-edge. It was the year when the whole world map appeared to have been redrawn by the Axis powers.
Controversial historian Niall Ferguson examines the period 1943 to 1945, when the Allies were forced to make terrible compromises to defeat fanatical enemies.
Professor Niall Ferguson remembers the Cold War as a nuclear-powered peace that came terrifyingly close to falling apart.
In the final programme, Professor Niall Ferguson assesses whether the nations of the 21st century will be able to avert the outbreak of a cataclysmic global war.
The War of the World synopsis
Controversial historian Niall Ferguson argues that the last century was one of continual worldwide conflict, caused by empires engaged in ethnic conflictEpisode Guide >