Magazine February 19, 2018, Issue

Person to Person

(Dado Ruvic/Reuters)
The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook, by Niall Ferguson (Penguin, 585 pp., $30)

In his new book, historian Niall Ferguson applies the concept of social networks to history. He asks how networks shape the spread of ideas and can help create a form of power different from that of hierarchies. In the spirit of network analysis, I will start by noting that the acknowledgments and works-cited sections demonstrate that Ferguson has clearly talked to experts in the field and read widely through the scholarly literature. I think he would appreciate it as an affirmation of his thesis that I wondered whether his time at Stanford, a university that has in many ways led

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




Popularity Contest In “Hearing the People” (January 22), a generally spot-on assessment of how Republicans should react to populism, Henry Olsen writes: “The combined might of the five core groups of ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ “And here to speak for the party of diversity, inclusion, women, people of color, and a bold embrace of the future is . . . some guy named ‘Kennedy.’” ‐ ...


THIS MILKY WAY This Milky Way, our galaxy, contains A massive hole of blackness at its core, Where any photon striking it remains In unreflected absence evermore, While we perch on a speck upon a ...


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