The well-regarded historian Niall Ferguson is our guest; his many books include "Civilization," "The Great Degeneration," and "The Ascent of Money." He joins us to discuss his newest book, "Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe," which seems especially timely in the wake of the annus horribilis that was 2020. Ferguson's book sets out to show why human beings are getting worse, not better, at handling disasters -- despite advancements in medicine, science, technology, etc. As noted of a starred review of this work in Library Journal: "[This book] is well-researched, well-argued, and all-encompassing. Ferguson uses the depth and breadth of his knowledge to cogently argue for a new understanding of catastrophic events.... Reminiscent of William H. McNeill's 'Plagues and Peoples,' ['Doom'] is a much-needed book on an important and pressing subject. Ferguson provides ample support for his arguments, uses an interdisciplinary approach, and offers new insights and revelations. An exemplary and thought-provoking work from a renowned author that will not disappoint."