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Publisher's Summary

From a cocktail party to a terrorist cell, from an ancient bacteria to an international conglomerate - all are networks, and all are part of a surprising scientific revolution. A maverick group of scientists is discovering that all networks have a deep underlying order and operate according to simple but powerful rules. This knowledge promises to shed light on the spread of fads and viruses, the robustness of ecosystems, the vulnerability of economies - even the future of democracy. Now, for the first time, a scientist whose own work has transformed the study of "links and nodes" takes us inside the unfolding network revolution. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi traces the fascinating history of connected systems, beginning with mathematician Leonhard Euler's first forays into graph theory in the late 1700s and culminating in biologists' development of cancer drugs based on a new understanding of cellular networks.
Combining narrative flare with sparkling insights, Barabasi introduces us to the myriad modern-day "cartographers" mapping networks in a range of scientific disciplines. Aided by powerful computers, they are proving that social networks, corporations, and cells are more similar than they are different. Their discoveries provide an important new perspective on the interconnected world around us.
Linked reveals how Google came to be the Internet's most popular search engine, how Vernon Jordan's social network affects the entire American economy, what it would take to bring down a terrorist organization like al Qaeda, and why an obscure finding of Einstein's could change the way we look at the networks in our own lives. Understanding the structure and behavior of networks will forever alter our world, allowing us to design the "perfect" business or stop a disease outbreak before it goes global.
Engaging and authoritative, Linked provides an exciting preview of the next century in science.
Also available in print from Perseus Publishing.
©2002 Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
(P)2002 Random House, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Alex on 05-22-03

Network theory for beginners

This was, in retrospect, critical for me to listen to. It provides a framework for understanding complex natural systems.
Network theory has seen a boom recently and this book by one of the founders of modern day 'scale free network topology' theory lays it out in plain english (except for the name, I guess). Beginning with Euler's theorems he follows through his own research and that of others to construct a picture of how network architecture arises, what factors affect it, and it's strengths and vulnerabilities. The theory is supported with examples of real networks (businesses, hollywood stars, the brain, the internet, and the spread on AIDS).
The theories also make sense, there's a real feeling of 'ah-haa' in every chapter as layers of complexity are added on. This seminal work describes the basis of a theroy that will be the starting point for a deeper understanding of the world around us.

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35 of 35 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Jeff on 05-27-03

Slow start, strong finish

This is a thorough discussion of network theory. The first part of the book goes into great, and sometimes tedious, detail. If you have the patience to wait for the cake to bake, however, the frosting is quite tasty. The second half of the book is about applications and real-world examples of every sort of network you might imagine and several you probably won't.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By V. S. on 07-28-05

So Good!

This is a fantastic book and one I have come back to and re-listened several times. The ideas presented here are just so fascinating. I never dreamed I would like this book so much. It's over six months ago since I first heard it but I still think about, and talk about, it a lot. This is not a lot of high foluting scientific stuff you can't understand, quite the opposite - it's clear, it's endlesly fascinating and relevant to everyday life - well my life anyway! After you've heard it you will be dying to play the Kevin Bacon game!

The narrator is great too. A pleasure to listen to.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Em on 04-06-17

Seven Bridges No Convenient Route

Fascinatingly insightful and wide reaching, which is typical of explorations into complexity. It wanders off down wonderful avenues, a few dead ends, but mostly looking back around synonymous with the characteristics of the networks being unfolded in the narrative. A few of the concepts have moved on considerably in the intervening years - after all it is the century of complexity - but the historical contexts and the building of the complementary concepts stands the test of time. Seven bridges no unique route! I think this is where Gladwell knicked most of his ideas, albeit that here they are steeped in the intricate windings of scientific provenance, rather than opinion.
Bit boring here and there, but hey, it's worth sticking with a classic!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By SS at Amazon on 06-19-17

Networks are important

Good book with important information.
Networks are fundamentals and underly all in nature. This is proper way to look at nature.

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