The Square and the Tower: Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power

By Niall Ferguson
Read by John Sackville

16.09 Hours 10/05/2017 unabridged

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Square and the Tower by Niall Ferguson, read by John Sackville. Most history is hierarchical: it's about popes, presidents, and prime ministers. But what if that's simply because they create the historical archives? What if we are missing equally powerful but less visible networks - leaving them to the conspiracy theorists, with their dreams of all-powerful Illuminati? The twenty-first century has been hailed as the Networked Age. But in The Square and the Tower Niall Ferguson argues that social networks are nothing new. From the printers and preachers who made the Reformation to the freemasons who led the American Revolution, it was the networkers who disrupted the old order of popes and kings. Far from being novel, our era is the Second Networked Age, with the computer in the role of the printing press. But networks have a dark side, prone to clustering, contagions, and even outages. And the conflicts of the past already have unnerving parallels today, in the time of Facebook, Islamic State and Trumpworld. Audio updated as of December 2017.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

A Literary Hub Pick of the Week

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Square and the Tower by Niall Ferguson, read by John Sackville. Most history is hierarchical: it's about popes, presidents, and prime ministers. But what if that's simply because they create the historical archives? What if we are missing equally powerful but less visible networks - leaving them to the conspiracy theorists, with their dreams of all-powerful Illuminati? The twenty-first century has been hailed as the Networked Age. But in The Square and the Tower Niall Ferguson argues that social networks are nothing new. From the printers and preachers who made the Reformation to the freemasons who led the American Revolution, it was the networkers who disrupted the old order of popes and kings. Far from being novel, our era is the Second Networked Age, with the computer in the role of the printing press. But networks have a dark side, prone to clustering, contagions, and even outages. And the conflicts of the past already have unnerving parallels today, in the time of Facebook, Islamic State and Trumpworld. Audio updated as of December 2017.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Captivating and compelling.” New York Times
“Niall Ferguson has again written a brilliant book…In 400 pages you will have restocked your mind. Do it.” Wall Street Journal
The Square and the Tower, in addition to being provocative history, may prove to be a bellwether work of the Internet Age.” Christian Science Monitor
“Brilliantly illuminates the great power struggle between networks and hierarchies that is raging around the world today….Silicon Valley needed a history lesson and Ferguson has provided it.” Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of Google
“Traditionally, history has come from the ‘tower,’ with ordinary folks in the ‘square’ documented mainly through formal organizations such as guilds and trade unions. Multiaward-winning historian Ferguson argues that the fluid networks defining social media today have always existed (think ancient Roman cults, Freemasons, and revolutionaries) and can deliver a fresh understanding of history.” Library Journal

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson is one of Britain’s most renowned historians. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He is the author of numerous books, including The Ascent of Money, a New York Times bestseller. His Kissinger, a feature-length film based on his interviews with Henry Kissinger, won the 2011 New York Film Festival prize for best documentary. His many other prizes and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012), and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).

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Details

Details

Available Formats :
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 16.09
Audience: Adult
Language: English