In this groundbreaking new series hosted by Niall Ferguson and based on his bestselling book The Square and the Tower, Ferguson visits network theorists, social scientists and data analysts to explore the history of social networks. From the Reformation and 17th century witch-hunting, through the American Revolution and to the nightmare visions of Orwell’s 1984, Ferguson explores the intersection of social media, technology and the spread of cultural movements. Reviewing classic experiments and cutting-edge research, Ferguson demonstrates how human behavior, disruptive technology and profit can energize ideas and communication, ultimately changing the world.
The Hoover Institution was founded on the idea that historical study is the indispensable foundation for the study of war, peace and revolution, as well as for the preservation of a free society: that is why it was, from the outset, an institution with an archive of historical manuscripts and publications. However, historians in the United States have increasingly recoiled from addressing contemporary issues, while policymakers are rarely trained as historians. This means that policy is often formulated with too little reference to historical experience on issues ranging from financial instability to technological disruption, from Islamic terrorism to mass migration—and most recently the threat of pandemic disease.
The Hoover History Working Group (HHWG) aims to conduct and disseminate historical research on issues of national and international concern; provide concrete recommendations on the basis of research and discussion; and use Hoover's unique situation to convene academic experts, policy makers, and interested private sector actors both at Stanford and in Washington, DC.
Under the leadership of Senior Fellow Niall Ferguson and Executive Director Manuel Rincon-Cruz, the History Working Group was launched in fall 2019.