L'histoire que l'on nous a enseignée est institutionnelle et hiérarchique. Ses acteurs sont les papes, les rois, les empereurs. Mais cette histoire officielle ne passe-t-elle pas à côté des réseaux, tout aussi puissants mais moins visibles, entretenant alors les fantasmes des théories conspirationnistes ? Le XXIe siècle a été qualifié d'âge des réseaux. Pourtant, Niall Ferguson le montre dans ce livre, les réseaux sociaux n'ont rien de nouveau. Qu'il s'agisse des imprimeurs et des prédicateurs qui ont fait la Réforme, ou des loges maçonniques et de leur rôle dans la révolution américaine, les réseaux - la Place - ont depuis toujours défié le monde ancien des hiérarchies - la Tour. Des Illuminati aux cercles des Lumières, de l'empire colonial britannique aux espions de la guerre froide, des récentes privatisations aux GAFA, Niall Ferguson propose une analyse radicalement nouvelle des organisations humaines. À quelles conditions les réseaux peuvent-ils conquérir les chaires, le pouvoir, la richesse ? Comment expliquer qu'ils supplantent aujourd'hui des structures hiérarchiques en voie d'épuisement ? Une lecture indispensable pour comprendre la complexité du monde. Niall Ferguson est un historien britannique, spécialisé dans l'histoire de l'économie et de la finance. Senior fellow à Harvard et Stanford, il est l'une des personnalités intellectuelles les plus en vue et les plus originales du monde anglo-saxon. Il est l'auteur de best-sellers internationaux, parmi lesquels L'Ascension de l'argent, ainsi que de biographies remarquées de la maison Rothschild et de Henry Kissinger.
Is America the new world empire? Presidents from Lincoln to Bush may have denied it but, as Niall Ferguson's brilliant and provocative book shows, the US is in many ways the greatest imperial power of all time. What's more, it always has been an empire, expanding westwards throughout the nineteenth century and rising to global dominance in the twentieth. But is today's American colossus really equipped to play Atlas, bearing the weight of the world on its shoulders? The United States, Ferguson reveals, is an empire running on empty, weakened by chronic defecits of money, manpower and political will. When the New Rome falls, he warns, its collapse may come from within.
'One of the timeliest and most topical books to have appeared in recent years' Literary Review 'Yet another tour de force from a writer who displays all his usual gifts of forceful polemic, unconventional intelligence and elegant prose ... guaranteed to spark fierce debate' Irish Times 'A bravura exploration of why Americans are not cut out to be imperialists but nonetheless have an empire. Vigorous, substantive, and worrying' Timothy Garton Ash
What if Britain had stayed out of the First World War? What if Germany had won the Second? How would England look if there had been no Cromwell? What would the world be like if Communism had never collapsed? And what if John F. Kennedy had lived?
In this acclaimed book, leading historians from Andrew Roberts to Michael Burleigh explore what might have been if nine of the most decisive moments in modern history had never happened.
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.
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.
The definitive biography of Henry Kissinger, based on unprecedented access to his private papers No American statesman has been as revered or as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Once hailed as “Super K”--the “indispensable man” whose advice has been sought by every president from Kennedy to Obama--he has also been hounded by conspiracy theorists, scouring his every “telcon” for evidence of Machiavellian malfeasance. Yet as Niall Ferguson shows in this magisterial two-volume biography, drawing not only on Kissinger’s hitherto closed private papers but also on documents from more than a hundred archives around the world, the idea of Kissinger as the ruthless arch-realist is based on a profound misunderstanding. The first half of Kissinger’s life is usually skimmed over as a quintessential tale of American ascent: the Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Germany who made it to the White House. But in this first of two volumes, Ferguson shows that what Kissinger achieved before his appointment as Richard Nixon’s national security adviser was astonishing in its own right. Toiling as a teenager in a New York factory, he studied indefatigably at night. He was drafted into the U.S. infantry and saw action at the Battle of the Bulge--as well as the liberation of a concentration camp--but ended his army career interrogating Nazis. It was at Harvard that Kissinger found his vocation. Having immersed himself in the philosophy of Kant and the diplomacy of Metternich, he shot to celebrity by arguing for “limited nuclear war.” Nelson Rockefeller hired him. Kennedy called him to Camelot. Yet Kissinger’s rise was anything but irresistible. Dogged by press gaffes and disappointed by “Rocky,” Kissinger seemed stuck--until a trip to Vietnam changed everything. The Idealist is the story of one of the most important strategic thinkers America has ever produced. It is also a political Bildungsroman, explaining how “Dr. Strangelove” ended up as consigliere to a politician he had always abhorred. Like Ferguson’s classic two-volume history of the House of Rothschild, Kissinger sheds dazzling new light on an entire era. The essential account of an extraordinary life, it recasts the Cold War world.
The Cash Nexus is the controversial history of money's central place in the world, from Niall Ferguson, bestselling author of Empire and Civilization Generations of historians have shied away from the truth behind the cliche: money makes the world go around. International bestseller Niall Ferguson answers the big questions about finance and its crucial place in bringing happiness and despair, warfare and welfare, boom and crash to nations buffeted by the onward march of history. Starting in 1700 and ending today, The Cash Nexus is a dazzling, powerful and controversial explanation of modern world history and the fundamental force that lurks behind it all.
About the author:
Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is the author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, Empire, Colossus, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, High Financier, Civilization and The Great Degeneration. He has written and presented six highly successful television series for Channel Four: Empire, American Colossus, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, Civilization and China: Triumph and Turmoil.
SPECTATOR, NEW STATESMAN, TELEGRAPH, SUNDAY TIMES and FINANCIAL TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015No American statesman has been as revered and as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Hailed by some as the "indispensable man", whose advice has been sought by every president from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush, Kissinger has also attracted immense hostility from critics who have cast him as an amoral Machiavellian - the ultimate cold-blooded "realist".In this remarkable new book, the first of two volumes, Niall Ferguson has created an extraordinary panorama of Kissinger's world, and a paradigm-shifting reappraisal of the man. Only through knowledge of Kissinger's early life (as a Jew in Hitler's Germany, a poor immigrant in New York, a GI at the Battle of the Bulge, an interrogator of Nazis, and a student of history at Harvard) can we understand his debt to the philosophy of idealism.And only by tracing his rise, fall and revival as an adviser to Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller and, finally, Richard Nixon can we appreciate the magnitude of his contribution to the theory of diplomacy, grand strategy and nuclear deterrence. Drawing not only on Kissinger's hitherto closed private papers but also on documents from more than a hundred archives around the world, this biography is Niall Ferguson's masterpiece. Like his classic two-volume history of the House of Rothschild, Kissinger sheds dazzling new light on an entire era.
What if there had been no American War of Independence? What if Hitler had invaded Britain? What if Kennedy had lived? What if Russia had won the Cold War? Niall Ferguson, author of the highly acclaimed The Pity of War, leads the charge in this historically rigorous series of separate voyages into imaginary time" and provides far-reaching answers to these intriguing questions.Ferguson's brilliant 90-page introduction doubles as a manifesto on the methodology of counter-factual history. His equally masterful afterword traces the likely historical ripples that would have proceeded from the maintenance of Stuart rule in England. This breathtaking narrative gives us a convincing, detailed alternative history" of the West from the accession of James III" in 1701, to a Nazi-occupied England, to a U.S. Prime Minister Kennedy who lives to complete his term.
The New York Times bestseller
'Silicon Valley needed a history lesson and Ferguson has provided it' Eric Schmidt
What if everything we thought we knew about history was wrong? From Niall Ferguson, the global bestselling author of Empire, The Ascent of Money and Civilization, this is a whole new way of imagining the world.Most history is hierarchical: it's about popes, presidents, and prime ministers. But what if that's simply because they create the historical archives? What if we are missing equally powerful but less visible networks - leaving them to the conspiracy theorists, with their dreams of all-powerful Illuminati?The twenty-first century has been hailed as the Networked Age. But in The Square and the Tower Niall Ferguson argues that social networks are nothing new. From the printers and preachers who made the Reformation to the freemasons who led the American Revolution, it was the networkers who disrupted the old order of popes and kings. Far from being novel, our era is the Second Networked Age, with the computer in the role of the printing press. Once we understand this, both the past, and the future, start to look very different indeed.'Ambitious and illuminating ... the historian who more than most connects our age to its past' Evening Standard, Books of the Year
'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' Wall Street Journal
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.
The latest work from Niall Ferguson, bestselling author of Empire, The Great Degneration is based on his 2012 BBC Reith Lectures 'The Rule of Law and Its Enemies' The decline of the West is something that has long been prophesied. Symptoms of decline are all around us today, it seems: slowing growth, crushing debts, aging populations, anti-social behaviour. But what exactly is amiss with Western civilization? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues, is that our institutions - the intricate frameworks within which a society can flourish or fail - are degenerating.
Representative government, the free market, the rule of law and civil society: these were once the four pillars of West European and North American societies. It was these institutions, rather than any geographical or climatic advantages, that set the West on the path to global dominance after around 1500. In our time, however, these institutions have deteriorated in disturbing ways.
Our democracies have broken the contract between the generations by heaping IOUs on our children and grandchildren. Our markets are increasingly distorted by over-complex regulations that are in fact the disease of which they purport to be the cure. The rule of law has metamorphosed into the rule of lawyers. And civil society has degenerated into uncivil society, where we lazily expect all our problems to be solved by the state.
The Degeneration of the West a powerful - and in places polemical - indictment of an era of negligence and complacency. While the Arab world struggles to adopt democracy, and while China struggles to move from economic liberalization to the rule of law, Europeans and Americans alike are frittering away the institutional inheritance of centuries. To arrest the degeneration of the West's once dominant civilization, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform.
Bread, cash, dough, loot, lucre, the wherewithal: call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it's the chains of labour. But in The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress. What's more, he reveals financial history as the essential back-story behind all history, with the development of credit and debt as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilisation.The evolution of credit and debt was as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilization, from ancient Babylon to the silver mines of Bolivia. Banks provided the material basis for the splendours of the Italian Renaissance, while the bond market was the decisive factor in conflicts from the Seven Years' War to the American Civil War.With the clarity and verve for which he is famed, Niall Ferguson explains why the origins of the French Revolution lie in a stock market bubble caused by a convicted Scots murderer. He shows how financial failure turned Argentina from the world's sixth richest country into an inflation-ridden basket-case - and how a financial revolution is propelling the world's most populous country from poverty to power in a single generation.Yet the most important lesson of the financial history is that sooner or later every bubble bursts - sooner or later the bearish sellers outnumber the bullish buyers - sooner or later greed flips into fear. And that's why, whether you're scraping by or rolling in it, there's never been a better time to understand the ascent of money.
If in the year 1411 you had been able to circumnavigate the globe and compare the dazzling civilizations of the Orient with Europe and North America, the idea that the West would dominate the Rest for most of the next half millennium would have struck you as wildly fanciful. So how did it happen? This book presents the answers.
From renowned historian Niall Ferguson, 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.
Representative government, the free market, the rule of law, and civil society--these are the four pillars of West European and North American societies. It was these institutions, rather than any geographical or climatic advantages, that set the West on the path to global dominance beginning around 1500. In our time, however, these institutions have deteriorated in disturbing ways. Our democracies have broken the contract between the generations by heaping IOUs on our children and grandchildren. Our markets are hindered by overcomplex regulations that debilitate the political and economic processes they were created to support; the rule of law has become the rule of lawyers. And civil society has degenerated into uncivil society, where we lazily expect all of our problems to be solved by the state.
It is institutional degeneration, in other words, that lies behind economic stagnation and the geopolitical decline that comes with it. With characteristic verve and historical insight, Ferguson analyzes not only the causes of this stagnation but also its profound consequences.
The Great Degeneration is an incisive indictment of an era of negligence and complacency. While the Arab world struggles to adopt democracy and China struggles to move from economic liberalization to the rule of law, our society is squandering the institutional inheritance of centuries. To arrest the breakdown of our civilization, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform.
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.
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 family 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.
With an Introduction by Niall Ferguson 'Kill the buggers! Kill the bloody fucking swine! Kill them!' Bourne is a private fighting on the front. He is under pressure to accept a commission and become an officer, but he prefers to be among the ranks, drawn into the universal struggle for survival in a world gone mad.
Manning's startling work is unlike any other First World War novel in its portrayal of the lives of ordinary British soldiers: the trauma of the Somme; the moments of bloodlust; the camaraderie, rivalry, alcohol and boredom. Considered obscene for its language and previously published in censored form as Her Privates We, The Middle Parts of Fortune appears here in its raw, unexpurgated version.