Essay on "America's Oh Sh*T Moment" by Niall Ferguson

Words: 1077
Pages: 5

“America’s ‘Oh Sh*t!’ Moment”, written by Niall Ferguson, a historian who teaches at Harvard University, in 2011, explores why civilizations collapse, and how America can avoid this. He does not focus only on America, but many civilizations in the past that have collapsed. Niall Ferguson is the author of Civilization: The West and The Rest. The article is creatively and cleverly written using the metaphor of modern technology to describe the way in which the societal collapse occurs. This shows that the article was written for adults who are highly educated and understand and relate to technology. The article discusses the possibilities of what complete collapse would look like in American society. I believe the author successfully …show more content…
The article was, however, very well written. It was obvious that the author was very knowledgable on the subject of civilizations collapsing, and it was very thoroughly researched. His argument was well said and he used a lot of statistics and proof. For example, to prove that Koreans work and study more than Americans, the author stated that the average Korean works 39% more hours a week than Americans, and their school year is 40 days longer than the American school year. The author also showed that he has a very wide vocabulary and used a variety of large vocabulary and figurative language. Although, I do think that the article was a little too detailed; the author made a point, and expanded on it a little too much, thus making the article very lengthy. For example, the author used 3 paragraphs to emphasize that Koreans and other Asian countries work harder and longer then Americans. Although, this technique was successful in getting the author’s point across and persuading the reader to side with him saying that America is headed towards an imminent collapse. Also, this did not leave very much to explore beyond the article. The only things that were left that required further exploration were the past civilizations that had collapsed. The author explained them, but if the reader had never heard of these collapses prior to reading the article, they might want to do more