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Throughout history our societies have worked through networks - of information, friendship, professions, families - Niall Ferguson's new bestseller is a history of this remarkable aspect of human existence, from the networks that first allowed us to explore the oceans to today's hyper-linked world.

Historians love to write about rulers - kings, emperors, presidents - or about vast social forces - migration, industrialisation - but what if they are all missing the point? Thinking about our own lives, isn't it clear that what makes the world go round are families, colleagues, teams, associations: in other words, networks?

Many old Italian towns have the same central structure: a large square where people gather and a tower where the town's elite ruled from. Throughout history you can express the battle between the two as a battle of networks - who knows who, who works with who: guilds, families, fellowships, clans, cabals all cooperating to make sometimes huge changes. Sometimes the power lies with those lurking in the tower and sometimes with those in the square. Access to information, to credit, to ideas, to news - all constantly shift. Whether in the Renaissance or in the present day what makes the world work is an astonishing tangle of networks - and this was as true for the effort that went into discovering the New World as it is now for fighting elections or just talking to friends online.

In his enormously enjoyable new book, Niall Ferguson celebrates the myriad ways in which the battle between rival networks makes history happen.

Reviews

A great historian . . . Ferguson is master of all he surveys

Spectator

Ferguson's intellect and panache mean that his skillful revision of history will reverberate for years to come

Guardian

A talented controversialist. He brings a wealth of historical knowledge to bear on big questions

Independent

He writes with splendid panache and a seemingly effortless, debonair wit

Andrew Roberts

Ferguson has knack for making long-ago events as vivid and visceral as the evening news

The New York Times

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780241298985

    October 30, 2017

    Allen Lane

    400 pages

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780241290460

    November 15, 2017

    Allen Lane

    400 pages

    RRP $55.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780141984827

    October 26, 2017

    Penguin eBooks

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Niall Ferguson

The Ascent Of Money
Kissinger
The Middle Parts Of Fortune
The Great Degeneration
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
Civilization
High Financier
Virtual History
Civilization: The West and the Rest
Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World: Popular Penguins
The War Of The World
Colossus
Empire
The Pity Of War

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