• The Square and the Tower

  • Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power
  • By: Niall Ferguson
  • Narrated by: John Sackville
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-05-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (18 ratings)

Regular price: $25.58

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Square and the Tower by Niall Ferguson.
What if everything we thought we knew about history was wrong? From the global best-selling author of Empire, The Ascent of Money and Civilization, this is a whole new way of looking at the world.
Most history is hierarchical: it's about popes, presidents, and prime ministers. But what if that's simply because they create the historical archives? What if we are missing equally powerful but less visible networks - leaving them to the conspiracy theorists, with their dreams of all-powerful Illuminati?
The 21st century has been hailed as the Networked Age. But in The Square and the Tower, Niall Ferguson argues that social networks are nothing new. From the printers and preachers who made the Reformation to the freemasons who led the American Revolution, it was the networkers who disrupted the old order of popes and kings. Far from being novel, our era is the Second Networked Age, with the computer in the role of the printing press. Those looking forward to a utopia of interconnected 'netizens' may therefore be disappointed. For networks are prone to clustering, contagions and even outages. And the conflicts of the past already have unnerving parallels today, in the time of Facebook, Islamic State and Trumpworld.
©2017 Niall Ferguson (P)2017 Penguin Books Ltd.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jan Sapper on 04-20-18

Awesome interesting book, but the narrator pronounced so many things wrong!

The content is as you would expect from Ferguson awesome. Anyhow the often mispronounced words make me wonder if the narrator really did his research? For example he calls Ben Bernanke „Ben Bernank“. Very distracting from the content. Pity.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Øystein Prytz on 10-20-17

Heading is not in fact optional

Fascinating story of networks with many interesting historical anecdotes. Narrating quotes in the national accent is a bit weird at first but kinda works

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Olly Buxton on 10-22-17

thought provoking and timely

fascinating account of the modern state of politics seen through what Ferguson would tell us is in fact a very ancient idea, the network as the antithesis of the hierarchical order. hit it's stride in the last 3 hours when Ferguson gets on to the modern networked economy and the political situations in America and the UK

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Pierz Newton-John on 11-12-17

Interesting analysis, but quit with the accents already!

I’m not sure where the mania came from among Audible readers for performing every quote in the supposed accent of its author, but it should stop. Even among gifted voice actors it serves little purpose other than to impress you with the reader’s mimicry, and is mainly just distracting. In the case of John Sackville, the accents range from passable (Scottish) to terrible (New Zealand), and it detracts from the experience. It’s a history book not a radio play. It’s a pity because Sackville has a pleasant reading voice and nothing extra needs to be added. That gripe over, the book is an interesting take on various significant historical epochs and events, examining them as it does through the lens of the “network”. This does sometimes provide novel insights, though at other times the role of the network seems rather tenuous, with the result that the book can seem a little unfocused.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Mitch on 05-19-18

Meh

Annoying accents by narrator. Word 'network' said 56,293 times. Six words remaining to review this?

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