Skip to content
 

New competition: Pick a title for Niall Ferguson’s next book!

I saw this recent news item and I realized it’s a perfect hook for a new work by the prolific and trash-talking historian Niall Ferguson.

Once the Kissinger biography is over, I assume Ferguson will want to return to his specialty, economic history. And what better topic than an exploration of mid-twentieth century Keynesianism. Ferguson can make use of this new research that was featured in Nature, explaining Keynes’s don’t-give-a-damn-about-tomorrow economics in light of the “five DNA markers that are associated with sexual orientation.”

So . . . here’s the competition. What should Niall title his book?

“Evilicious” is already taken.

“Keynes: The poof who changed history”—nah, that’s too crude.

“Keynes, like Jesus, had no children, and favored economic redistribution. Maybe there’s a reason for this, heh heh heh”—ummm, no, that’s even worse.

We need something subtle, clever, understated. Unfortunately I’m not British, and understatement is not my style—I’m more of a subtle-as-a-refrigerator-on-the-side-of-the-head kind of guy. So maybe you can help?

I’m guessing the winning entry will follow the now standard format of dramatic but vague title followed by descriptive subtitle.

Something like, “Maynard and the Ballerina: The five DNA markers that changed history.” But cleverer.

Any ideas? Free copy of Stan to the winner. Two free copies if you can somehow work in one of our other blog favorites, such as Ed Wegman or Dr. Anil Potti. Three free copies if you can make a mock-up book cover.

P.S. According to a link from Tyler Cowen, Ferguson is headed for the Hoover Institution. That’s pretty ironic, given that Hoover’s so famous for going to parties in a dress.

22 Comments

  1. Gappy says:

    1. Hoover Institution is named after Herbert, not Edgar. 2. Unsolicited feedback: the gratuitous snark is making this blog less fun to read.

  2. Jonathan says:

    “Keynes and Genes Don’t Rhyme, and Other Academic Misadventures”

  3. ahuri says:

    “The Closeted Socialist, or what if Keynes were a straight economist?”

  4. numeric says:

    Hoover is where reactionaries go to die. There’s an interesting “tradition” (at least there used to be) of an afternoon “tea” or some such at 3:30pm when the illuminati gather on the ground floor and rejoice in the splendor of each other’s company. I attended one in the 80’s (dragged down by the fellow I was visiting)–Milton Friedman was there with his coterie. One individual associated with Milton was pontificating, saying things you would expect (he had just visited Lawrence Livermore and discussed Star Wars with them, and we were “closer than you think” (thirty years later we still cannot reliably knock down and incoming ICBM!), how the modern welfare state was ruining American, etc). Every now and then Milton would clear his throat and the room would fall silent and he would utter a banality, then his shill would resume making pronouncements. If you want to know the reason why there’s no progress in the social sciences this sequacity is the reason.

  5. Ed says:

    There has to be something in his famous ‘in the long run we’re all dead’ quote. How about: ‘In the short run we’re all dead: the truth about Keynes’

  6. Keynes: The Economic Consequences for Other People’s Grandchildren

    (echoing titles of two of his essays, “Economic Consequences of Mr Churchill” and “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren”)

  7. Martin says:

    “The key to Keynes: How Nature’s gambles brought Socialism upon others’ grandchildren”

    “John’s johns and why he could just not help it”

    “Discounting Keynes: a politically incorrect guide to the future of the West (and why it’s best)”

  8. Kevin Dick says:

    Animal Spirits Revealed: The 5 Quantitative Trait Loci Behind Keynes Work for a Government He Despised

  9. Dana says:

    Yeah, the ratio of snark to humour makes it somewhat off-putting for me too. Have just finished NF’s “Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World” and found it well-written and tremendously interesting, for whatever that’s worth.

    • Andrew says:

      Dana:

      I liked Ferguson’s book, Virtual History. But he’s jumped the shark in recent years (see for example here, here, here, and here). Ferguson’s a talented guy, but he’s become a hack. His notorious remarks regarding Keynes were both offensive and stupid—really a bad combination for any scholar.

    • Andrew says:

      Also, don’t you think it’s a little bit funny that a man who’s famous for a gratuitous anti-gay slur is now working for an institution named after a famous cross-dresser? C’mon, that’s at least worth a chuckle.

      The really funny thing is, I doubt Ferguson has anything against gays. My guess is that in the event in question he just thought the crowd of business executives he was addressing would hate Keynes so much that they’d enjoy just any slur against the guy. In this case, Ferguson misjudged his audience.

  10. Dalton says:

    You definitely put the ‘b’ in subtle, Dr. Gelman.

  11. AJG says:

    You have to go all-out Buzzfeed style.

    “What This Famous Gay Icon Said About Death, And Why It Matters For You”

    “Top 5 Secret Reasons Behind The World’s Most Famous Socialist’s Motives”

    “I Was Shocked When I Heard THIS About Keynes…Then, I Started Clapping And Cheering”

    “Is It Really This Easy? 1 Simple Trick For Fixing The Economy! Wall Street HATES This!”

    “This Man Made An Amazing Discovery…The Genetic Reason Mainstream Scientists Ignored Him”

  12. WB says:

    Keynes: The Love of Labor that Dare Not Speak Its Name

Leave a Reply