For those who fancy tales of corporate fraud, dodgy accounting, international permutations of same, PR manipulators, foibles of regulators, weird judges, and such, this one goes to the top of the stack. The author, though an attorney, has a light nimble step of intelligence, great nimbleness and ease with words, ready humor, and is a great explainer of fairly complex things in plain English with relentless puckishness. I found myself smiling incessantly, and repeatedly laughing out loud. The reader was well-cast, matching his effervescently amused tone with the content. Being in legal and teaching fields, I admire this presentation and content.
This book is well-organized, very clear, and very comprehensive on its subjects. It has 10 books' worth of stuff, as I have rummaged around through similar titles picking out scraps of what is all laid out here, a-b-c, 1-2-3: the terminology, the history, etc. It gives a very complete history of money and debt, without bogging down in incidental details (as some authors seem tempted to pack in, perhaps to give an impressively big book). This is one of the better-edited books I have read. The author has positions and opinions, but always gives plenty of room in the discussion, indicating various voices on the important topics of the world's handling debt imbalances going forward. The narrator has a fine voice and style that serves the material well. This is not a personal finance book. As the title suggests, it is about the big picture, but I find it very pertinent to my political thought, plans and expectations. I wish I read a book like this long ago.
Some people may be put off by the academic language and many references to history (which a widely-read person will recognize), especially early in the book. For me, my patience was pretty quickly rewarded. Listening to the sample will give a good sense of this. This author is digging through (and mapping out) something absolutely vital: what we see as good, right, wrong, by ourselves and in groups, and then, how we really act in situations that challenge us in these ways. The author takes us through history and all kinds of ways of thought from ancient times through the present (spanning philosophy, various branches of science, folkways and religions, tracing right up into the recent cognitive psychology) showing the sort of grab-bag we use, in arriving at who to be, what to do, and how to react. I find the language to be crackling English prose with an ideally English narrator, but I admit I do have a high verbal IQ and lots of education. If you like to take apart what you and others feel and do, and you like a bigger context in history and various ways of thought, it's ideal.