Niall ferguson books the square and tower

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niall ferguson books the square and tower

The Square and the Tower by Niall Ferguson: | Books

The tower represents hierarchical control and secular authority, the top-down approach to social structure. The study of how networks compete or co-operate with each other and with hierarchies is a hot topic in the social sciences, and it is easy to see why: think of the US military versus Isis; or Russian intelligence trying to exploit the US media; or Facebook and, well, almost anything. Networks flourished in the years to , he writes; hierarchies reasserted themselves until around , and networks have been making a comeback ever since. The book is a history told with the focus on the way networks and hierarchies shaped events. This approach is engaging but not always helpful. When it does work, however, it works well. German National Socialism is described as a network that then transformed itself into a crushingly powerful hierarchy.
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A discussion with Niall Ferguson on "The Square and the Tower"

The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook

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It is indisputable that the internet — facilitated by both vast improvements in access and computing power — has had a disruptive impact on not just business but politics and many aspects of our daily lives. - Look Inside. Jan 16, Minutes Buy.

But what if the real action is in the social networks down below, in the town squares? Niall Ferguson, the international bestselling author of Empire, The Ascent of Money and Civilization , brilliantly recasts past and present as an unending contest between hierarchies and networks. Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. For the latest books, recommendations, offers and more. By signing up, I confirm that I'm over View all newsletter.

Niall Ferguson is not the kind of historian who suffers from understatement. He 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. In The Great Degeneration he describes the collapse of the institutions on which the west made its success. This often seems a distinction without a great — or great enough — difference.


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