History

The Square and the Tower

Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735222924

Category: History

Page: 592

View: 8784

The instant New York Times bestseller. 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. “Captivating and compelling.” —The New York Times "Niall Ferguson has again written a brilliant book...In 400 pages you will have restocked your mind. Do it." —The Wall Street Journal “The Square and the Tower, in addition to being provocative history, may prove to be a bellwether work of the Internet Age.” —Christian Science Monitor Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers and field marshals. It's about states, armies 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 sources of power and drivers of change? The 21st century has been hailed as the Age of Networks. However, in The Square and the Tower, Niall Ferguson argues that networks have always been with us, from the structure of the brain to the food chain, from the family tree to freemasonry. 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. For it is networks that tend to innovate. And it is through networks that revolutionary ideas can contagiously spread. Just because conspiracy theorists like to fantasize about such networks doesn't mean they are not real. From the cults of ancient Rome to the dynasties of the Renaissance, from 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--concepts such as clustering, degrees of separation, weak ties, contagions and phase transitions--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.
Business & Economics

The Great Degeneration

How Institutions Decay and Economies Die

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101608455

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 192

View: 5466

A searching and provocative examination of the widespread institutional rot that threatens our collective future What causes rich countries to lose their way? Symptoms of decline are all around us today: slowing growth, crushing debts, increasing inequality, aging populations, antisocial behavior. But what exactly has gone wrong? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues in The Great Degeneration, is that our institutions—the intricate frameworks within which a society can flourish or fail—are degenerating. With characteristic verve and historical insight, Ferguson analyzes the causes of this stagnation and its profound consequences for the future of the West. The Great Degeneration is an incisive indictment of an era of negligence and complacency—and to arrest the breakdown of our civilization, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform.
History

Civilization

The West and the Rest

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143122061

Category: History

Page: 402

View: 3403

A history of Western civilization's rise to global dominance offers insight into the development of such concepts as competition, modern medicine, and the work ethic, arguing that Western dominance is being lost to cultures who are more productively utilizing Western techniques.
Business & Economics

Paper and Iron

Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation, 1897-1927

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521894227

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 556

View: 1621

This study presents a challenge to the prevailing view that there was no alternative to the inflationary economic policies of Weimar Germany.
History

Empire

The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465013104

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 9508

The British Empire was the largest in all history: the nearest thing to world domination ever achieved. By the eve of World War II, around a quarter of the world's land surface was under some form of British rule. Yet for today's generation, the British Empire seems a Victorian irrelevance. The time is ripe for a reappraisal, and in Empire, Niall Ferguson boldly recasts the British Empire as one of the world's greatest modernizing forces.An important new work of synthesis and revision, Empire argues that the world we know today is in large measure the product of Britain's Age of Empire. The spread of capitalism, the communications revolution, the notion of humanitarianism, and the institutions of parliamentary democracy-all these can be traced back to the extraordinary expansion of Britain's economy, population, and culture from the seventeenth century until the mid-twentieth. On a vast and vividly colored canvas, Empire shows how the British Empire acted as midwife to modernity.Displaying the originality and rigor that have made him the brightest light among British historians, Ferguson shows that the story of the Empire is pregnant with lessons for today-in particular for the United States as it stands on the brink of a new era of imperial power, based once again on economic and military supremacy. A dazzling tour de force, Empire is a remarkable reappraisal of the prizes and pitfalls of global empire.
Biography & Autobiography

Kissinger

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin Press HC

ISBN: 1594206538

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 986

View: 5445

A definitive portrait of the American statesman, based on unprecedented access to his private papers, challenges common misconceptions to trace Kissinger's beliefs to philosophical idealism.
Business & Economics

The Cash Nexus: Economics And Politics From The Age Of Warfare Through The Age Of Welfare, 1700-2000

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 9780465023264

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 576

View: 3289

Conventional wisdom has long claimed that economic change is the prime mover of political change, whether in the age of industry or Internet. But is it? Ferguson thinks it is high time we re-examined the link-the nexus, in Thomas Carlyle's phrase-between economics and politics. His central argument is that the conflicting impulses of sex, violence, and power are together more powerful than money. Among Ferguson's startling claims are: · Nothing has done more to transform the world economy than war, yet wars themselves do not have primarily economic causes. · The present age of economic globalization is coinciding-paradoxically-with political and military fragmentation. · Financial crises are frequently caused by unforeseen political events rather than economic fluctuations. · The relationship between prosperity and government popularity is largely illusory. · Since political and economic liberalization are not self-perpetuating, the so-called triumph of democracy worldwide may be short-lived. · A bold synthesis of political history and modern economic theory, Cash Nexus will transform the landscape of modern history and draw challenging conclusions about the prospects of both capitalism and democracy.
History

The Pity of War

Explaining World War I

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 078672529X

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 3741

In The Pity of War, Niall Ferguson makes a simple and provocative argument: that the human atrocity known as the Great War was entirely England's fault. Britain, according to Ferguson, entered into war based on naïve assumptions of German aims—and England's entry into the war transformed a Continental conflict into a world war, which they then badly mishandled, necessitating American involvement. The war was not inevitable, Ferguson argues, but rather the result of the mistaken decisions of individuals who would later claim to have been in the grip of huge impersonal forces.That the war was wicked, horrific, inhuman,is memorialized in part by the poetry of men like Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, but also by cold statistics. More British soldiers were killed in the first day of the Battle of the Somme than Americans in the Vietnam War; indeed, the total British fatalities in that single battle—some 420,000—exceeds the entire American fatalities for both World Wars. And yet, as Ferguson writes, while the war itself was a disastrous folly, the great majority of men who fought it did so with enthusiasm. Ferguson vividly brings back to life this terrifying period, not through dry citation of chronological chapter and verse but through a series of brilliant chapters focusing on key ways in which we now view the First World War.For anyone wanting to understand why wars are fought, why men are willing to fight them, and why the world is as it is today, there is no sharper nor more stimulating guide than Niall Ferguson's The Pity of War.
History

The Ascent of Money

A Financial History of the World

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781440654022

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 9711

A richly original look at the origins of money and how it makes the world go round Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of our financial system, from its genesis in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. What's more, Ferguson reveals financial history as the essential backstory behind all history, arguing that the evolution of credit and debt was as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilization. As Ferguson traces the crisis from ancient Egypt's Memphis to today's Chongqing, he offers bold and compelling new insights into the rise--and fall--of not just money but Western power as well.
Biography & Autobiography

The House of Rothschild

Volume 2: The World's Banker: 1849-1999

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101153571

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 544

View: 5071

A major work of economic, social and political history, Niall Ferguson's The House of Rothschild: The World's Banker 1849-1999 is the second volume of the acclaimed, landmark history of the legendary Rothschild banking dynasty. Niall Ferguson's House of Rothschild: Money's Prophets 1798-1848 was hailed as a "great biography" by Time magazine and named one of the best books of the year by Business Week. Now, with all the depth, clarity and drama with which he traced their ascent, Ferguson - the first historian with access to the long-lost Rothschild family archives - concludes his myth-breaking portrait of once of the most fascinating and power families of all time. From Crimea to World War II, wars repeatedly threatened the stability of the Rothschilds' worldwide empire. Despite these many global upheavals, theirs remained the biggest bank in the world up until the First World War, their interests extending far beyond the realm of finance. Yet the Rothschilds' failure to establish themselves successfully in the United States proved fateful, and as financial power shifted from London to New York after 1914, their power waned. "A stupendous achievement, a triumph of historical research and imagination."—Robert Skidelsky, The New York Review of Books "Niall Ferguson's brilliant and altogether enthralling two-volume family saga proves that academic historians can still tell great stories that the rest of us want to read."—The New York Times Book Review "Superb ... An impressive ... account of the Rothschilds and their role in history."—Boston Globe Niall Ferguson's new book The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook will be published in January 2018.
Political Science

The End of the Liberal Order?

Author: Niall Ferguson,Fareed Zakaria

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

ISBN: 1786073110

Category: Political Science

Page: 81

View: 9434

‘No civilization, no matter how mighty it may appear to itself, is indestructible.’ –Niall Ferguson ‘We do not need to invent the world anew. The international order established by the United States after World War II is in need of expansion and repair, but not reconception.’ –Fareed Zakaria Fears of a globalized world are rampant. Across the West, borders are being reasserted and old alliances tested to their limits. Could this be the end of the liberal order or will the major crises of the twenty-first century strengthen our resolve?
Political Science

Colossus

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 110166679X

Category: Political Science

Page: 416

View: 8000

Is America an empire? Certainly not, according to our government. Despite the conquest of two sovereign states in as many years, despite the presence of more than 750 military installations in two thirds of the world’s countries and despite his stated intention "to extend the benefits of freedom...to every corner of the world," George W. Bush maintains that "America has never been an empire." "We don’t seek empires," insists Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. "We’re not imperialistic." Nonsense, says Niall Ferguson. In Colossus he argues that in both military and economic terms America is nothing less than the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Just like the British Empire a century ago, the United States aspires to globalize free markets, the rule of law, and representative government. In theory it’s a good project, says Ferguson. Yet Americans shy away from the long-term commitments of manpower and money that are indispensable if rogue regimes and failed states really are to be changed for the better. Ours, he argues, is an empire with an attention deficit disorder, imposing ever more unrealistic timescales on its overseas interventions. Worse, it’s an empire in denial—a hyperpower that simply refuses to admit the scale of its global responsibilities. And the negative consequences will be felt at home as well as abroad. In an alarmingly persuasive final chapter Ferguson warns that this chronic myopia also applies to our domestic responsibilities. When overstretch comes, he warns, it will come from within—and it will reveal that more than just the feet of the American colossus is made of clay.
Biography & Autobiography

High Financier

The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141975849

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 576

View: 6586

In this groundbreaking biography, based on more than 10,000 hitherto unavailable letters and diary entries, Niall Ferguson returns to his roots as a financial historian to tell the story of the extraordinary Siegmund Warburg. A refugee from Hitler's Germany, Warburg rose to become the dominant figure in the post-war City of London and one of the architects of European financial integration. Seared by events in the 1930s, when the long-established Warburg bank was first almost destroyed by the Depression and then 'Aryanized' by the Nazis, Warburg was determined that his own bank would learn from the past and contribute to the economic recovery of Britain, the unity of Western Europe and the birth of globalization. Siegmund Warburg was a complex and ambivalent man, as much a psychologist, politician and actor-manager as a banker. In High Financier Niall Ferguson reveals Warburg's idiosyncracies but above all he recaptures the meticulous business methods and strict ethical code that set Warburg apart from the mere speculators and traders who inhabit today's financial world.
History

Strategy

A History

Author: Lawrence Freedman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190229233

Category: History

Page: 768

View: 8051

Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013 In Strategy: A History, Sir Lawrence Freedman, one of the world's leading authorities on war and international politics, captures the vast history of strategic thinking, in a consistently engaging and insightful account of how strategy came to pervade every aspect of our lives. The range of Freedman's narrative is extraordinary, moving from the surprisingly advanced strategy practiced in primate groups, to the opposing strategies of Achilles and Odysseus in The Iliad, the strategic advice of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, the great military innovations of Baron Henri de Jomini and Carl von Clausewitz, the grounding of revolutionary strategy in class struggles by Marx, the insights into corporate strategy found in Peter Drucker and Alfred Sloan, and the contributions of the leading social scientists working on strategy today. The core issue at the heart of strategy, the author notes, is whether it is possible to manipulate and shape our environment rather than simply become the victim of forces beyond one's control. Time and again, Freedman demonstrates that the inherent unpredictability of this environment-subject to chance events, the efforts of opponents, the missteps of friends-provides strategy with its challenge and its drama. Armies or corporations or nations rarely move from one predictable state of affairs to another, but instead feel their way through a series of states, each one not quite what was anticipated, requiring a reappraisal of the original strategy, including its ultimate objective. Thus the picture of strategy that emerges in this book is one that is fluid and flexible, governed by the starting point, not the end point. A brilliant overview of the most prominent strategic theories in history, from David's use of deception against Goliath, to the modern use of game theory in economics, this masterful volume sums up a lifetime of reflection on strategy.
History

The War of the World

History's Age of Hatred

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141901683

Category: History

Page: 816

View: 4067

The world at the beginning of the 20th century seemed for most of its inhabitants stable and relatively benign. Globalizing, booming economies married to technological breakthroughs seemed to promise a better world for most people. Instead, the 20th century proved to be overwhelmingly the most violent, frightening and brutalized in history with fanatical, often genocidal warfare engulfing most societies between the outbreak of the First World War and the end of the Cold War. What went wrong? How did we do this to ourselves? The War of the World comes up with compelling, fascinating answers. It is Niall Ferguson’s masterpiece.
Computers

The Cathedral & the Bazaar

Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary

Author: Eric S. Raymond

Publisher: "O'Reilly Media, Inc."

ISBN: 9780596553968

Category: Computers

Page: 258

View: 2313

Open source provides the competitive advantage in the Internet Age. According to the August Forrester Report, 56 percent of IT managers interviewed at Global 2,500 companies are already using some type of open source software in their infrastructure and another 6 percent will install it in the next two years. This revolutionary model for collaborative software development is being embraced and studied by many of the biggest players in the high-tech industry, from Sun Microsystems to IBM to Intel.The Cathedral & the Bazaar is a must for anyone who cares about the future of the computer industry or the dynamics of the information economy. Already, billions of dollars have been made and lost based on the ideas in this book. Its conclusions will be studied, debated, and implemented for years to come. According to Bob Young, "This is Eric Raymond's great contribution to the success of the open source revolution, to the adoption of Linux-based operating systems, and to the success of open source users and the companies that supply them."The interest in open source software development has grown enormously in the past year. This revised and expanded paperback edition includes new material on open source developments in 1999 and 2000. Raymond's clear and effective writing style accurately describing the benefits of open source software has been key to its success. With major vendors creating acceptance for open source within companies, independent vendors will become the open source story in 2001.
History

Empire

How Britain Made the Modern World

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0241958512

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 6070

Niall Ferguson's acclaimed bestseller on the highs and lows of Britain's empire Once vast swathes of the globe were coloured imperial red and Britannia ruled not just the waves, but the prairies of America, the plains of Asia, the jungles of Africa and the deserts of Arabia. Just how did a small, rainy island in the North Atlantic achieve all this? And why did the empire on which the sun literally never set finally decline and fall? Niall Ferguson's acclaimed Empire brilliantly unfolds the imperial story in all its splendours and its miseries, showing how a gang of buccaneers and gold-diggers planted the seed of the biggest empire in all history - and set the world on the road to modernity. 'The most brilliant British historian of his generation ... Ferguson examines the roles of "pirates, planters, missionaries, mandarins, bankers and bankrupts" in the creation of history's largest empire ... he writes with splendid panache ... and a seemingly effortless, debonair wit' Andrew Roberts 'Dazzling ... wonderfully readable' New York Review of Books 'A remarkably readable précis of the whole British imperial story - triumphs, deceits, decencies, kindnesses, cruelties and all' Jan Morris 'Empire is a pleasure to read and brims with insights and intelligence' Sunday Times
Political Science

The Chessboard and the Web

Strategies of Connection in a Networked World

Author: Anne-Marie Slaughter

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300215649

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 6523

From a renowned foreign-policy expert, a new paradigm for strategy in the twenty-first century In 1961, Thomas Schelling's The Strategy of Conflict used game theory to radically reenvision the U.S.-Soviet relationship and establish the basis of international relations for the rest of the Cold War. Now, Anne-Marie Slaughter--one of Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers from 2009 to 2012, and the first woman to serve as director of the State Department Office of Policy Planning--applies network theory to develop a new set of strategies for the post-Cold War world. While chessboard-style competitive relationships still exist--U.S.-Iranian relations, for example--many other situations demand that we look not at individual entities but at their links to one another. We must learn to understand, shape, and build on those connections. Concise and accessible, based on real-world situations, on a lucid understanding of network science, and on a clear taxonomy of strategies, this will be a go-to resource for anyone looking for a new way to think about strategy in politics or business.
History

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

A History of Now

Author: Michael Burleigh

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 1509847936

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 5670

In the decades since the end of the Second World War, it has been widely assumed that the western model of liberal democracy and free trade is the way the world should be governed. However, events in the early years of the twenty-first century – first, the 2003 war with Iraq and its chaotic aftermath and, second, the financial crash of 2008 – have threatened the general acceptance that continued progress under the benign (or sometimes not so benign) gaze of the western powers is the only way forwards. And as America turns inwards and Europe is beset by austerity politics and populist nationalism, the post-war consensus looks less and less secure. But is this really the worst of times? In a forensic examination of the world we now live in, acclaimed historian Michael Burleigh sets out to answer that question. Who could have imagined that China would champion globalization and lead the battle on climate change? Or that post-Soviet Russia might present a greater threat to the world’s stability than ISIS? And while we may be on the cusp of still more dramatic change, perhaps the risks will – in time – bring not only change but a wholly positive transformation. Incisive, robust and always insightful, The Best of Times, The Worst of Times by Michael Burleigh is both a dazzling tour d’horizon of the world as it is today and a surprisingly optimistic vision of the world as it might become.
Biography & Autobiography

The House of Rothschild

Volume 1: Money's Prophets: 1798-1848

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101157305

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 672

View: 3626

From the bestselling author of The Ascent of Money and The Square and the Tower In his rich and nuanced portrait of the remarkable, elusive Rothschild family, Oxford scholar and bestselling author Niall Ferguson uncovers the secrets behind the family's phenomenal economic success. He reveals for the first time the details of the family's vast political network, which gave it access to and influence over many of the greatest statesmen of the age. And he tells a family saga, tracing the importance of unity and the profound role of Judaism in the lives of a dynasty that rose from the confines of the Frankfurt ghetto and later used its influence to assist oppressed Jews throughout Europe. A definitive work of impeccable scholarship with a thoroughly engaging narrative, The House of Rothschild is a biography of the rarest kind, in which mysterious and fascinating historical figures finally spring to life.