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Double Entry

Narrated by: Julia Farhat
Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, Economics
3.5 out of 5 stars (58 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Filled with colorful characters and history, Double Entry takes us from the ancient origins of accounting in Mesopotamia to the frontiers of modern finance. At the heart of the story is double-entry bookkeeping: the first system that allowed merchants to actually measure the worth of their businesses. Luca Pacioli - monk, mathematician, alchemist, and friend of Leonardo da Vinci - incorporated Arabic mathematics to formulate a system that could work across all trades and nations. As Jane Gleeson-White reveals, double-entry accounting was nothing short of revolutionary: it fueled the Renaissance, enabled capitalism to flourish, and created the global economy. John Maynard Keynes would use it to calculate GDP, the measure of a nation’s wealth. Yet double-entry accounting has had its failures. With the costs of sudden corporate collapses such as Enron and Lehman Brothers, and its disregard of environmental and human costs, the time may have come to re-create it for the future.

©2011 Jane Gleeson-White (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“A timely, topical, readable, and thought-provoking look at the history and legacy of double-entry bookkeeping.” (Elif Batuman, author of The Possessed)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Parts of this book sing to me

Niall Ferguson seemed to break new popularizing ground with "The Ascent of Money," which in some ways resembled Kenneth Clarke's fantastic popularization "Civilization" and Jacob Bronowski's "Ascent of Man" of the 1970s. I enjoyed and was very inspired by all these works. Now, to my delight, many authors are exploring in more depth some themes also found in "Ascent of Money," particularly the transmission across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy of the business math and accounting in late medieval times that would transform the modern world. Here are also bits of art history, as math master and main character Luca Pacioli crossed paths with many important figures of the early Renaissance. Some readers may differ on the author's choices of topics in the later part of this book (and amazon book reviews will show this), but the Italian history alone for me is worth the price of admission.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Work, Terrible Narration

What did you like best about Double Entry? What did you like least?

The story of double entry accounting sounds mundane, but is fascinating. The narrator is atrocious. It sounds like a robot and I could hardly listen to it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narration is absolutely unbearable. I have purchased a lot of books from audible and always been pleased. This is an exception. It makes it very difficult to listen to and even harder to try to comprehend.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting book, but narrator is monotonous.

This is an interesting account on so many levels of what would appear to be a dry topic. However, the performance literally puts one to sleep.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book with puzzling narration.

Julia Farhat is a wonderfully talented narrator. This work is so different from her other work that the responsibility for the mechanical delivery must lie with someone else entirely.
The content of this work is important and interesting.
Julia Farhat is always crystal clear in her delivery, but this time she sounds like a robot.
The mind delights, the ears bleed.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The history is interesting, but preachy ending

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Only recommend to people very interested in history or accounting. Would definitely warn them about the moralizing in the last few chapters.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jane Gleeson-White? Why or why not?

Probably not buy, might check out at library.

What three words best describe Julia Farhat’s performance?

Adequate for subject

Any additional comments?

I work in accounting. Got this because I was interested in the history.

1 person found this helpful

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Yawn

About as interesting as the title suggests. Narrator sounds slightly robotic but it did not bother me.

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Good book, horrible narrator

This was my first audiobook purchase and after listening for a short while I looked for a setting to change this annoying computer voice.

Alas this is a real person reading it, now I only listen for a minute when I am sleepy at work. This voice causes my blood to boil in anger and after about 30 seconflds I'm no longer sleepy and am wide awake looking to crush skulls.

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A good book made horrible by computer voice

After listening to a podcast and interview with the author regarding this book, I was quite excited to go through it. Unfortunately the audio narration is horrific. Initially I thought the narrator was trying to sound flat and was possibly emulating a computer generated voice for some reason but after listening for a while I realized that the voice is indeed computer generated. The narration ruins this book, it would've been better to leave it as a non-audible title until an actual human could narrate this book. It's highly disingenuous for the publisher to list a persons name ("Julia Farhat") as a narrator when it's just a made up name for a computer generated voice. So bad that I'll be requesting a refund.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Send this to every accountant you know!

The ability of an organism to change and adapt to its ever changing environment is its key to survival. Humans are not immune to environmental changes. Humans are an environmental change. This book charts a path that could, hopefully, help your grandchildren, and all mankind, survive. Read, discuss and share!
We have to work for knowledge. The begining of this book is historically dense but worth working thru it. The payoff is well worth it. My balance sheet has been improved. The world's depends on it.

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Interesting accounting of the history of...

This book tells a wonderful story, from the beginnings of the use of double-entry bookkeeping in medieval Venice to the good and bad of accounting today.

Unfortunately, the interest of the subject was almost killed by the deadpan narration of Ms Farhat. Flat, dull, and able to turn the most fascinating writing into a sleep-inducing monotone, Ms Farhat almost killed the story. It was a struggle to listen to the end, but the quality of the history manages to stand above its narration.