In This Review

Linked: The New Science of Networks
Linked: The New Science of Networks
By Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
Perseus, 2002, 280 pp

The metaphor of the last century was the factory; the one of this century is the network. In this book, a distinguished physicist explores in nontechnical language the theory and reality of networks. The dominant example, of course, is the Internet, but Barabasi is equally comfortable discussing the dynamics of cocktail parties and blackouts on power grids. As in the case of the assembly line, the metaphor of the network may not explain quite as much as its proponents think, but students of everything from terrorist groups to environmental activists should take a look at this well-written introduction for the nonspecialist.