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

Extended Audio Sample The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook Audiobook, by Niall Ferguson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Niall Ferguson Narrator: John Sackville Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 16, 2018 ISBN: 9780525528661
Coming Soon! The audiobook will be available for pre-order on December 26, 2017.Check back on that date to pre-order this title for the Jan 16, 2018 release!
Available for pre-order on: December 26, 2017

A brilliant recasting of the turning points in world history, including the one we're living through, as a collision between old power hierarchies and new social networks

Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers and field marshals. It's about states, armies and corporations. It's about orders from on high. Even history "from below" is often about trade unions and workers' parties. But what if that's simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change?

The 21st century has been hailed as the Age of Networks. However, in The Square and the Tower, Niall Ferguson argues that networks have always been with us, from the structure of the brain to the food chain, from the family tree to freemasonry. Throughout history, hierarchies housed in high towers have claimed to rule, but often real power has resided in the networks in the town square below. For it is networks that tend to innovate. And it is through networks that revolutionary ideas can contagiously spread. Just because conspiracy theorists like to fantasize about such networks doesn't mean they are not real.

From the cults of ancient Rome to the dynasties of the Renaissance, from the founding fathers to Facebook, The Square and the Tower tells the story of the rise, fall and rise of networks, and shows how network theory--concepts such as clustering, degrees of separation, weak ties, contagions and phase transitions--can transform our understanding of both the past and the present.

Just as The Ascent of Money put Wall Street into historical perspective, so The Square and the Tower does the same for Silicon Valley. And it offers a bold prediction about which hierarchies will withstand this latest wave of network disruption--and which will be toppled. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “Niall Ferguson’s The Square and the Tower brilliantly illuminates the great power struggle between networks and hierarchies that is raging around the world today. As a software engineer steeped in the theory and practice of networks, I was deeply impressed by this book’s insights. Silicon Valley needed a history lesson and Ferguson has provided it.”

    Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of Google

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About the Author
Author Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson is one of Britain’s most renowned historians. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School; a senior research fellow of Jesus College, Oxford; and a senior research fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the bestselling author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, and High Financier. He also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world.

About the Narrator

John Sackville is an English actor and voice artist. He studied at St. Andrews University and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He has since acted on stage and on camera,and has narrated a number of audiobooks, computer games, documentaries, and commercials.