The Square and the Tower: Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power by Niall Ferguson
The New York Times bestseller
'Silicon Valley needed a history lesson and Ferguson has provided it' Eric Schmidt
What if everything we thought we knew about history was wrong? From Niall Ferguson, the global bestselling author of Empire, The Ascent of Money and Civilization, this is a whole new way of imagining the world.
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. Once we understand this, both the past, and the future, start to look very different indeed.
'Ambitious and illuminating ... the historian who more than most connects our age to its past' Evening Standard, Books of the Year
'Captivating and compelling' The 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