The Square and the Tower: Niall Ferguson with Gillian Tett

Wed. Jan 17, 2018 at 6:30pm EST
All Ages
All Ages
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All Ages
Event Description

Historian and political commentator Niall Ferguson asks: From the Freemasons to Facebook, how have networks been true sources of power and drivers of change throughout history?

Most history is hierarchical: it’s about emperors, presidents, prime ministers, and field marshals. It’s about states, armies, and corporations. 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 have had as much of a hand in shaping history as anything else? The 21st century has been hailed as the Age of Networks, but historian and author 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.

Ferguson will speak with Gillian Tett, U.S. Managing Editor of The Financial Times. From the cults of ancient Rome to the dynasties of the Renaissance, from the founding fathers to Facebook, they will examine how a better understanding of networks can transform our understanding of both the past and the present.


For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released 15 minutes before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form one hour before the program.

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Venue Details
Map of Venue Location.
Celeste Auditorium at South Court (1st Floor) The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10016