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The Square and the Tower: Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power Hardcover – 5 Oct 2017

3.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (5 Oct. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241290465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241290460
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Silicon Valley needed a history lesson and Ferguson has provided it (Eric Schmidt)

Niall Ferguson writes big, muscular books with high-concept ideas that target current concerns through the prism of the past. They are pull-yourself-together warnings to the present by way of arresting historical precedent... Ferguson's breadth of learning is impressive (Andrew Anthony Guardian)

This is an immensely stimulating historical tour d'horizon...an absorbing Cook's tour of the past combined with an illuminating polemic about the current digital revolution. (David Goodhart Standpoint)

From the Inside Flap

Most history is hierarchical: it's about popes, presidents, and prime ministers. But what if that's simply because hierarchies 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 personal computer in the role of the printing press.

Those looking forward to a utopia of interconnected 'netizens' may therefore be disappointed. For networks are prone to clustering, contagions, and even outages. And the conflicts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries already have unnerving parallels today, in the time of Facebook, Islamic State and Trumpworld.

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27 October 2017
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26 January 2018
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