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

by Ferguson, Niall (Author)

ISBN: 9780735222939

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 leaders, governments, 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 drivers of change?

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. From the cults of ancient Rome to 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 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.

Format: Paperback, 592 pages

Publisher: Penguin Books, January 2019

Product Dimensions: 8.4 L × 5.5 W × 0 H

* Subject to availability