Commonwealth Club Of California

Monday, March 12 at 2:00 pm

Niall Ferguson: Politics, Power And Networks

From his views of Islam in the West to his assertion that the United States should once again become a colonial power, conservative historian Niall Ferguson has never shied away from challenging established views or offering provocative opinions.

Now, Ferguson is posing a new challenge to the traditional orthodoxy of history. Many historians subscribe to the idea that history is driven by leaders and political elites, but in his new book, The Square and the Tower, Ferguson argues that networks of people, not individuals, are responsible for producing and promoting the great political, economic and philosophic ideas that have guided Western society from its humble origins to its present greatness.

From ancient Roman cults and the Sons of Liberty to Facebook and Twitter, Ferguson explores what other historians have overlooked: the critical networks which drove change and molded Western society into what it is today. Ferguson will even offer bold predictions on which networks currently in their infancy will come to shape the future.

Ferguson is an award-winning economist and historian. Trained at Oxford, his 14 books and numerous academic and journalistic publications have garnered him international attention and acclaim. He is also an accomplished filmmaker. His first documentary, Kissinger, won the New York Film Festival prize for best documentary. Ferguson is currently the Laurence A. Tisch professor of history at Harvard University and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

Niall Ferguson
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; Author, The Square and the Tower: Networks, Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook

In Conversation with Quentin Hardy
Head of Editorial, Google Cloud

To listen to the audio of Niall Ferguson: Politics, Power And Networks on Commonwealth Club Of California online, please click HERE.