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Michael L. Hughes, Niall Ferguson.
- Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation, 1897-1927
- Paper and Iron
- Civilization The West and the Rest - Niall Ferguson
- NIALL FERGUSON
Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation, 1897-1927
Niall Ferguson. Allen Lane. Find this book:. In the past three decades, it is easy to identify a certain trend in this direction. Ferguson is by now well-known as a historian, economic analyst and a public commentator on current affairs. His books have focused on the economic aspects of events and phenomena from the past. He debuted with Paper and Iron , in which he analysed how the interworkings of the German economy led to the disaster of the interwar years.
He later moved on to explore the Rothschilds, writing what is probably the best history of the family. Ferguson positions networks at the basis of human innovation, arguing that they have allowed us to construct modern civilisation.
In this respect, networks are extremely varied, including patterns of settlement and migration in the early days of humanity, but also cults and crazes that sprout without any real plans. He attempts to explain the differences between networks and hierarchies, which are based on how we perceive the hubs and nodes connecting people.
While networks build these in a horizontal direction, hierarchies do the same, only in a downward fashion, never at the same level.
The metaphor of the tower is meant to illustrate official power, and how it stands atop the square and its various exchanges between individuals. This began with the invention of the mobile printing press, allowing for the spread of revolutionary ideas, ending at the close of the nineteenth century.
The Second Age began in the s and boomed with the spread of the internet as well as the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This led to the contestation of old ideas and, eventually, to the birth of the Enlightenment. From here on, Ferguson looks at the history of particular networks, while always trying to distance himself from conspiracy theorists in underlining that it is only hierarchies that give power; networks, instead, are sources of influence.
This organisation, founded in in Bavaria by members of the elite, became extinct by This is considered somewhat peculiar by Ferguson, as they seem to be far more popular in stories than the more successful Freemasons. The latter even played important roles in major events, having close ties to the American Revolution. In fact, Ferguson argues that this allowed American revolutionaries to cooperate more efficiently.
It is from here, for Ferguson, that an inherent relationship between networks and revolutions emerges. This is due to their capacity to generate new ideas, which very often stand in opposition to existing power structures. In contrast to the American example, he brings the French Revolution, which lacked well-organised networks, inevitably leading to chaos and anarchy.
Ferguson argues that even intellectual networks became hierarchical structures during this period. This phenomenon reached its peak by the middle of the twentieth century with the rise of totalitarian regimes. He argues that both Nazism and Communism only grew more hierarchical as they expanded, with massive bureaucracies being the key manifestation of this.
The author presents this as something similar to a network, but functioning as an interaction between differing levels, never in a horizontal fashion, allowing for the concentration of power. The Second Age of Networks began at the end of the s. But it all culminates with a discussion of the internet and online social networks, focusing on the two giants, Facebook and Google.
While Ferguson does appreciate the facilitation of communication between individuals these have brought, he underlines some of the dangers they might also come to pose. In the first case, he talks about how the internet has allowed the organisation to become something similar to an open-source network, as it is acephalous , each member adding new information. This has made it flexible, capable of operating anywhere. The second example is characterised as a failure of the old elite to adapt and properly use new instruments.
It can be used to undermine governments, but these in turn can also use online networks to control the population e. The Square and the Tower stands as another addition to the expanding literature trying to explain the direction in which the world is heading.
For those interested in answers coming from historical examples, it is by far one of the best choices. In terms of an analysis of networks and hierarchies, it does not stand as the definitive book, but rather, as Ferguson himself admits, as more of a synthesis of a broad phenomenon. It is without a doubt a good read, especially for those looking for an entry point into the subject.
His doctoral research focuses on issues regarding the lives of workers in factories during the communist regime in Romania. His academic interests include the history of communism, oral history, international relations mainly civilisational studies and nineteenth- and twentieth-century history in general. Read more by Vlad Onaciu.
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Paper and Iron
Ferguson performs some admirable detective work in reconstructing the emergence and transmission of a revisionist argument List of figures; Preface; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Golden years; 2. The sinews of war; 3. The political economy of revolution; 4. Versailles and Hamburg; 5. Relative stabilisation; 6.
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Niall Ferguson. Reviewed by J. Niall Ferguson, a young Oxford historian, has produced a close examination of the German inflation and its impact on the city of Hamburg from the s through the s. In an epilogue he extends his analysis of inflation issues into the National Socialist era and ends with a brief discussion of a second German hyperinflation from to Two central arguments run through the study. First, the phenomenon of inflation extended far beyond the usual boundaries of to that most historians have identified. Second, in contrast to much recent literature, the negative costs of inflation far outweighed any positive benefits for industry and economy in recovering from the war and ameliorating reparations.
By Niall Ferguson · New York: Cambridge University Press, ix + Appendix, bibliography Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation, – Request Full-text Paper PDF.
Civilization The West and the Rest - Niall Ferguson
Three Postwar Eras in Comparison pp Cite as. Wars nearly always increase state debts; perhaps the most common of all postwar problems is what to do about those debts. The theoretical literature on this subject tends to distinguish between the international distributional conflicts which arise, usually described as the victors seeking to shift part of their debt burden onto the shoulders of the losers, 1 and the domestic distributional conflicts, which are frequently portrayed in terms of class.
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Niall Ferguson. Allen Lane. Find this book:.
Niall Ferguson. Allen Lane. Find this book:.
Tisch Creed of History at Harvard Humanity. Engaged studies of German ship in this crucial crappy will have to take Time and Iron into writing. Yet many students have argued that inflationary bothers were, on balance, alert to post Turkey, both boosting growth and helping to comb reparations. The exultant consensus is that there was no different alternative to inflation.