Niall Ferguson is one of those rare characters: a respected scholar who’s also a successful popularizer. Ferguson, a Brit, has taught at Oxford and New York University and is now at Harvard. He has written about World War I, the British Empire and the Rothschilds (Europe’s most powerful banking family). He has turned four of his projects into TV documentaries, the latest of which — “The Ascent of Money,” also a book — begins airing on PBS on Wednesday. It is a program that could be usefully viewed by most of America’s roughly 13,000 economists.
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