The Square and the Tower by Niall Ferguson

The Square and the Tower

"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 GoogleA 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 histor...

Details The Square and the Tower

TitleThe Square and the Tower
Release DateJan 16th, 2018
PublisherPenguin Press
GenreNonfiction, Politics, History

Reviews The Square and the Tower

  • Roman Clodia
    3.5 stars for fuelling debateMore polemic than history, Ferguson has certainly digested a huge amount of material and tries to re-cast the entire history of mankind as a constant struggle between the power of hierarchies and networks. This kind of systematic binary categorisation, however, tends to simplify his vision - as his own narrative makes clear, the boundaries between a hierarchy and a network may shift, dissolve and reform: Russian commu...
  • Cassidy (Reminders of the Changing Time)
    To see all of my book-related content, check out my blog @ @ 40%I honestly cannot be bothered to continue to drag myself through this anymore. The Square and the Tower started off as an incredibly interesting look into the power that networks have had on society and the path that it has forged. It pits networks, which are generally thought to be more balanced in the power that all components/members have, against hierarch...
  • Anton
    Incredibly rich account. The first quarter of the book is truly captivating. Great summary of the network analysis theory and insightful applications to different pivotal moments across the historical timeline. But then it gets a bit repetitive and overwhelming with misc details (?). Having said that Niall Ferguson is a powerful non-fiction writer and a man of incredible erudition. So providing you can keep up with Niall as he leapfrogs from one ...
  • John Plowright
    “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” state Marx and Engels in ‘The Communist Manifesto’. According to Niall Ferguson’s latest book - ‘The Square and the Tower. Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power’ – the history of all hitherto existing society is rather the history of the tension between networks and hierarchies; a fact hitherto largely ignored by historians because n...
  • Mandy
    If I’ve understood Ferguson’s argument correctly, then there are networks and hierarchies and often networks play a larger role in governing, changing and influencing our societies, from the earliest days to now, than hierarchies do. Is that a new insight? If networks aren’t new, which they obviously aren’t, then haven't they always been influential? This book is wide-ranging and all-encompassing and explores all sorts of networks but I s...
  • Philip
    I was initially impressed but the book lost its way. I can think of so many fascinating examples of networking that were not even referenced. Disappointed.
  • Michael Cayley
    Niall Ferguson is the author of, among other works, a superb history of the British Empire. I came to this book with high expectations and found it a huge disappointment.Its central thesis is meant to be that networks of people who may be in themselves regarded as unimportant have played key roles in history. But much of the book is actually narrative history that focuses largely on people who have long been regarded as prominent individuals - ra...
  • Tim
    Outspoken historian and broadcaster Niall Ferguson returns with his latest book which ambitiously sweeps across history examining the interactions between networks and hierarchies. Indeed, Ferguson has set out to redress the balance, maintaining that "social networks have always been much more important in history than most historians, fixated as they have been on hierarchical organisations such as states, have allowed".Ferguson's research is cer...
  • Margaret
    Subtitled ‘Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power‘, this is described as ‘a whole new way of imagining the world’ as it’s possible that we’re missing information about networks because it’s not recorded in historical archives. But what I found in this book is rather different, being a run through history in what seemed to me a disjointed way, albeit very detailed, with network diagrams and many footnotes. I found pa...
  • Graham McGhie
    Absolutely Fascinating. Niall Ferguson enlightens us again with a different perspective on events. Read and be educated:Meticulously researched, this book provides readers with food for thought as the author, celebrated historian Neill Ferguson, makes the case that the structure of networks within society can influence historical events. Ferguson unveils a new dimension with which to consider modern (and Ancient) history."The Square and the Tower...