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Publisher's Summary

Peter L. Bernstein tells the story of history's most coveted, celebrated, and inglorious asset: gold. From the ancient fascinations of Moses and Midas through the modern convulsions caused by the gold standard and its aftermath, gold has led many of its most eager and proud possessors to a bad end. Gold had them, rather than the other way around. And while the same cycle of obsession and desperation may reverberate in today's fast-moving electronically-driven stock markets, the role of gold in shaping human history is the striking feature of this tumultuous tale.

This fascinating account begins with the magical, religious, and artistic qualities of gold and progresses to the invention of coinage, the transformation of gold into money, and the gold standard. The more important gold becomes as money, the more loudly it speaks of power. Ultimately, Bernstein confronts the future of gold in a world where it appears to have been relegated to the periphery of global finance.

Far more than a tale of romantic myths, daring explorations, and the history of money and power struggles, The Power of Gold suggests that the true significance of this infamous element may lie in the timeless passions it continues to evoke, and what this reveals about ourselves.

©2000 Peter L. Bernstein (P)2000 Random House, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting economic history lesson

Good book and well researched but it does drag a bit. I have a degree in economics and it gives a nice history of the gold standard. However, the anecdotal mythological stories about gold in the beginning do not really mesh well with the rest of the story.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Power of Gold is a great read

In a time of economic instability, many people turn to gold as a "safe port in the storm". This book is a great read telling about the history of humanity's love for gold.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Really Interesting Audiobook

Even though I've not studied economics I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Extremely informative, with lots of very interesting historical anecdotes, along with very easy to understand explanations: from the workings of the old Gold standard to how gold has under-pinned the financial systems of the world throughout history.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • S
  • 12-07-05

Gold Gold & Black Gold

This is more than the history of gold- it's the history of money as well. I found it fascinating- although at times it was also rather confusing and impossible to remember all the details, and there were many.

In the end, if I truly want to grasp the material, I'll need to listen to it again. But fortunately, this is a book that I'd like to listen to again. That can't be said for most books I listen to.

The book starts off strong and ends rather strong but as with many books, it too lost me for a bit in the middle. Highly recommend it nonetheless.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

An auspicious start. Weak explanantions.

What did you like best about The Power of Gold? What did you like least?

The ancient history of gold was told very well. Where it failed was to explain clearly the economic issues pertaining to Gold in the 20th Century.

Would you recommend The Power of Gold to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes, the story of Gold turned out to be exciting.

What about Eric Conger’s performance did you like?

A little bit slow and ponderous.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No. I expect the hard issues which I did not understand well will be glossed over in a film and the parts that would be an interesting film would be the parts I understood.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Boring

I was expecting to listen to something in the genre of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast, but was sorely disappointed as the writing and the narration both drag and despite best efforts, I wasn't able to finish listening to this one

0 of 2 people found this review helpful