From primitive man's cowrie shells to the electronic cash card, from the markets of Timbuktu to the New York Stock Exchange, The History of Money explores how money and the myriad forms of exchange have affected humanity, and how they will continue to shape all aspects of our lives--economic, political, and personal.
©1998 Jack Weatherford (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
I would not have thought of reading this book, but I read the author's book about Genghis Khan and enjoyed it so much that I thought I would give his other books a listen. Though the end of the book discussing the era of electronic money was a bit tedious to me, the rest of the book more than made up for that, and I'm sure I will read it again in a couple of years. The section about the decline of the Roman empire was downright scary in its similarity to the U.S.A. today.
I gave it 4 stars, but I have a distinct feeling this topic could have been made much more interesting. Somewhere between the Knights Templar's banking precedent and the airline miles industry, it all became less gripping. It also didn't help that some of the chapters ended with such an extensive summing-up that I kept thinking the book was ending. But no. So I don't know, it was maybe the dry writing style, maybe uneven interest, who knows. Still, this was interesting and comprehensive enough.
That it got me thinking and expanded my knowledge of money.
Sometimes I felt I wanted to.
I would recommend since money is such an important part of our lives. Why not learn more about it!
Very good explanations. Revealing.
For 1997, this is a great history of money. I would welcome a new edition. It does not touch on the tech bubble or the sub prime crash.
I was hoping for a discussion of new digital money, like bitcoin. For "digital money", it discussed network transactions for credit cards and banking transactions.
I recommend this book for its discussions of the early history of money.
listening to it over and over again. It is packed with lot's of good fundamental information.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
The “History of Money” is an interesting historical journey, written by Jack Weatherford. However, at times, resource selection seems loosely based on the title’s inferred theme. One of Weatherford’s references is to Michel Montaigne. Montaigne’s reference to money in his book, “Essays”, is superfluous. Montaigne said little about the historical role of money, except as an inheritance and burden.
Weatherford explains that we have entered a new age of money. Early civilizations disclaimed the importance of money; the ruling class coveted money for power; the merchant class acquired money for trade; the industrial class sought money for production; and now the capitalist class has risen. Like the Romans, capitalists acquire money for power.
However, the medium of money has become unanchored by the physical world. Money lives in cyber space, untethered by physical relationship. Capitalists have become the new Caesars backed by money that never touches human hands. Though Weatherford does not address bitcoin, he infers a new form of money is being created out of nothing.
One might argue money has always been created out of nothing, except convenience. Money is certainly more conveniently handled today than in ancient times. The concern is that the speed of change, figuratively and physically, is less controllable in cyber space.
A bit dry and historical, but none the less a fascinating history. A good reflection as to the relationship of money, the world economy and our society.
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