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The square and the tower : networks and power, from the Freemasons to Facebook

by Ferguson, Niall (Author)

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"A brilliant recasting of the turning points in world history, including the one we're living through, as a struggle between old power hierarchies and new social networks. Most history is hierarchical: it's about popes, presidents, prime ministers and other potentates. It's about states, armies and... Full description


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Table of Contents:
  • Part I: Introduction: Networks and hierarchies ; The mystery of the Illuminati ; Our networked age ; Networks, networks everywhere ; Why hierarchies? ; From seven bridges to six degrees ; Weak ties and viral ideas ; Varieties of network ; When networks meet ; Seven insights ; The Illuminati illuminated
  • Part II: Emperors and explorers. A brief history of hierarchy ; The First Networked Age ; The art of the Renaissance deal ; Discoverers ; Pizarro and the Inca ; When Gutenberg met Luther
  • Part III: Letters and lodges. The economic consequences of the Reformation ; Trading ideas ; Networks of Enlightenment ; Networks of revolution
  • Part IV: The restoration of hierarchy. The red and the black ; From crowd to tyranny ; Order restored ; The house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha ; The house of Rothschild ; Industrial networks ; From pentarchy to hegemony
  • Part V: Knights of the Round Table. An imperial life ; Empire ; Taiping ; 'The Chinese must go' ; The Union of South Africa ; Apostles ; Armageddon
  • Part VI: Plagues and pipers. Greenmantle ; The plague ; The leader principle ; The fall of the golden international ; The ring of five ; Brief encounter ; Ella in reform school
  • Part VII: Own the jungle. The long peace ; The general ; The crisis of complexity ; Henry Kissinger's network of power ; Into the valley ; The fall of the Soviet Empire ; The triumph of Davos Man ; Breaking the Bank of England
  • Part VIII: The Library of Babel. 9/11/2001 ; 9/15/2008 ; The administrative state ; Web 2.0 ; Coming apart ; Tweeting the revolution ; 11/9/2016
  • Part IX: Conclusion: facing Cyberia. Metropolis ; Network outage ; FANG, BAT and EU ; The square and the tower redux
  • Afterword: The original square and tower.