Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
It explores debt as a universal truth, covering its financial form as well as trying to interpret religions on a debt-based system.
It made me really think about the world in a different way.
This book gave me a new perspective of how to see the value of money. To think that our dollar doesn't have the value (what backs it up) was mind blowing for me.
What an eye opener. We apparently reside within an historical cycle cash and credit with all it's benefits and injuries.
The conversation on what Money is is fascinating..
The narrator does a fantastic job.
This book is an essential part in broadening your understanding of the historical world and why the international community finds itself in the throws of a financial system it cannot fully understand or control.
Software engineer and avid, lifetime student. I like deep, thoughtful non-fiction, and fiction that compliments and enriches it.
I'm only at chapter 5 so this review is arguably premature. But I've read a ton of this type of nonfiction book to see that this book - this author - are special. And what makes it so important is that the content is possibly the biggest, most important economic, social, and political web of ideas anyone can possibly tackle - and these ideas have never been more relevant to current events and within the power of the common person to influence since the crucial invention of the printing press.
Read this book. If you are even a reasonably thoughtful person, it will have taught you something profound - even life-changing - in just the first 4 chapters.
What's it about? It's hard to say because, as is explained, the concept of debt pervades every aspect of being human - from morality (behavior), to economics (earning a living), to sociology (relationships). The concept of debt has come to pervade almost every aspect of our lives - even our religion. Politically, we are stuck as never before as we grapple with the concepts behind socialism and capitalism. But if your friend asks you to "Pass the salt, please," at dinner, you will not quote a price to your friend to perform this "act of production." So are you a socialist? Probably not. If your friend borrows $1000 from you, you are unlikely to be happy about not being paid back, especially if the friend uses the money to do things you would have liked to do, but now can not. Does your friend have a moral requirement to pay you back? Even to the point of a "pound of flesh?" Or was your loan more like a risky bet that now will not provide a return on your investment? An act of generosity? A keystone of functioning societies? Something that earns you rewards in heaven?
Using a discussion that spans the Vedas to Nehemiah and Christ, Adam Smith to Keynes, Comte to Nietzsche to Durkheim, from tribes to modern societies, be prepared to be stunned with new insights.
Lots of great info, but some chapters take forever to get through...
A much better understanding of what money actually is.
Debt is a magnificent intellectual history of debt. It clearly disassociates many of the myths common in society about the nature and history of debt. Challenging the predominate default view of capitalism, Graeber provides many good examples of how the state, capitalism, war, and money have interwoven over time to produce modern problems in society. While the book was well sourced and convincing, the author did occasionally dip into political issues, even specific individuals, with really no apparent relation to the core content. Absent this, the book would have received an easy 5 out of 5.
While I am all too familiar with the experience of being in debt, I had no idea that the history of debt was so rich and varied. He presented the concept of debt and then showed how it changed over time while both reflecting and influencing politics, the military, and social order.
This is one of those books that will change the way you view history. There are wonderful insights here and an immense span of history is presented with clarity and humor.
I particularly enjoyed learning about the way cultures have gone back and forth between systems that relied on barter and coinage. There is a fascinating relationship between slavery, mining, and a financial system that relied on coins. Brilliant.
Very steady and listenable. Just the right presentation.
That the middle ages were more diverse than I expected and that they were a factor in India as well.
This is a long book, but the thoroughness with which the author presents his subject is wonderful. It never gets tedious and every chapter presents something new that I had never considered before. Well worth the time.
Errors in editing. Ex Part 2 chapter 7. Good book a performance otherwise. Interesting analysis, history, and examples.
The book tries to link communism with family and capitalism with greed. However he does correctly show that in the past mixing the two systems leads to violence. He fails to recognize that loving bond are essential to communism. for in it the strong must choose to give to the weak. Outside of the family this wouldn't happen due to the 150 rule in sociology, but through force, coercion and violence. Which he describes showing examples in history of our struggle to build a fair capitalist society build on choice. Altho the book intent seemed to be to show the need to ban debtors prisons and a call for bankruptcy for poor nations which I do agree with. This is how a healthy capitalist system runs.
In my view understand that communism is for families and friends whereas capitalism is for strangers and nations. Swapping or mixing these systems can lead to emotional and sometimes violent unintended consequences.
No every opinion needs to be hear but also refuted.
First off I loved the book, it is a very thoughtful, well researched takedown of the fantasies we have been thought in classical economics. The funnest thing about this book for me has been the laughter I get from my daughter every time I mention to her that she should read... Debt... The first 5,000 years. Ha ha h ah ha ayah aha a ahahahhahahahaha.
I will keep trying