"Farrell and Newman's book is like an MRI or CT scan of recent world history, giving us a new and startling image of the global body politic, as clear as an X-ray. Cognitive mapping takes on a new aspect with their analysis, as they shift from the technological to the historical, showing both how this new nervous system of world power came to be, and how it could be put to better use than it is now. Given the intertwined complexities of our very dangerous polycrisis, we need their insights."
–Kim Stanley Robinson, author of The Ministry for the Future
"Underground Empire is an astonishing explanation of how power really works. From fiber optic cables to the financial system, Farrell and Newman show how the networks that knit us together are also powerful coercive tools, providing a subtle and revelatory account of how the United States learned to weaponize its dominance of the world order's plumbing. A riveting read, essential for understanding how economic and technological power is wielded today."
–Chris Miller, author of Chip War
"An eye-opening journey into the hidden networks that power the high-tech world, where all roads lead not to Silicon Valley but to suburban Washington DC, bankers and spies matter as much as tech entrepreneurs, and an industry built by the Cold War has become a geopolitical battleground once again. A truly important book to explain–and move beyond–our tumultuous times."–Margaret O'Mara, author of The Code
"The sharpest and most striking analysis I've seen in years of the state the world's in, cunningly disguised as a user-friendly business book."–Francis Spufford, author of Golden Hill
tells a riveting story about the deep forces that have shaped our present moment. The book is a portrait not of a single protagonist or event, but rather a system that shapes much of the world today: a web of dollars and data that has, half accidentally, given the United States a new kind of geopolitical control over both its enemies and allies. It is history written in its most powerful form: a view of the recent past that gives us a new lens to better discern our future."–Steven Johnson, author of How We Got to Now