In his most widely appealing book yet, one of today s leading authors of popular anthropology looks at the intriguing history and peculiar nature of money, tracing our relationship with it from the time when primitive men exchanged cowrie shells to the imminent arrival of the all purpose electronic cash card 320 pp Author tour National radio publicity 25,000 print.FromIn his most widely appealing book yet, one of today s leading authors of popular anthropology looks at the intriguing history and peculiar nature of money, tracing our relationship with it from the time when primitive men exchanged cowrie shells to the imminent arrival of the all purpose electronic cash card 320 pp Author tour National radio publicity 25,000 print.From the Hardcover edition.
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The History of Money In his most widely appealing book yet one of today s leading authors of popular anthropology looks at the intriguing history and peculiar nature of money tracing our relationship with it from the ti
THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE BUT YOU CAN KEEP 'EM FOR THE BIRDS AND BEESOn the second page of the first chapter of this book about money, Jack Weatherford is talking about human sacrifice in the Aztec religion ("up the long flight of steps to the altar where the priests ripped out his heart") – later on p 64 we get a description of the Templars being burned to death in 1310 (I'll spare you a quote) – and anyone might think that our author is trying desperately to jive up his boring subje [...]
Written by an anthropologist--Discusses the history of money and how money from cowerie shells to blips on a screen has affected human societies.IF YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ECONOMICS AND EVEN IF YOU DO, THIS IS THE BEST MOST EASILY ACCESIBLE OVERVIEW. EXTREMELY ENTERTAINING AND WELL-WRITTEN.
It's a definite guide to various versions of money and its impact on culture. Money in terms of age is only at its beginning. The future will see money evolve above the governments controlling it with the advent of e-money. The success of e-money will be death knell for paper money outside government control. I felt the book left a very positive impression of money's future on me, making money an egalitarian factor which could glue the people together breaking the current monopoly of financial s [...]
Such a fine book. So accessible, so fully researched. Billionaire Charles R. Schwab calls it "THE book to read" about "the revolutionary transformation of the meaning and use of money". The first chapter covers the origins of money - of coins, of trading, of markets - in ancient Lydia and it is unforgettable. Weatherford's background as an ethnographer whose widely read in economics, including a knowledge of electronic money systems through the late 1990's, gives his book a historically balanced [...]
The illusion in motion. Interesting, but not super entertaining. Of course maybe that is expecting too much given the topic.
awesomeutterly interesting. You need to know the history of money. You'll never look at it the same way.
Lots of interesting historical tidbits and etymologies. Offers insightful perspective on the shaping of the modern world. Needs a new revision to include bitcoin, etc.
As anticipated, “the” history of money is quite the story. From extracting hapless villager hearts to pay off the local deity, to dispersing immaterial numerical bits to win crap off Ebay, this is a most interesting development. Weatherford maintains an identifiable structure of three monetary phases, while filling the narrative with any number of fascinating anecdotes. The Spanish/Mexican Peso was the primary currency of the fledgling US?!? That grants an ironic precedent to my statement la [...]
According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to use gold and silver coins and the first to establish retail shops in permanent locations. This statement of Herodotus is one of the pieces of evidence often cited in behalf of the argument that Lydians invented coinage, at least in the West, even though the first coins were neither gold nor silver but an alloy of the two called electrum. This book covers an arc from before the first coinage to the predicted, cash-less future. As such, [...]
This is what i think of as an 'airport book' -- a lot of vivid anecdotes, memorable imagery, and lively prose, however beyond that in terms of actual history or historical insight, not much more than you could get from reading for an evening. After some interesting musings in the first few chapters, the book retreats to cultural trivia alternating with a bare-bones history of the mechanics of currency. Not that it was boring, but it was not what i was hoping for.Add to this the fact that the au [...]
This book is a comprehensive history of the means of exchange through out the ages. It brings us right up to the present day (well present day when the book was written in 97)The author discusses inflation, intentional devaluation of money, and how we've arrived at the systems that we have todayough the authors intention did not seem political I learned a lot about politics especially the role government has upon the money supply.I found this book for sale at the library and picked it up because [...]
For someone with no background on this subject this was a good read. It is not necessarily an information based book but rather a good entertainer o the topic of how money has evolved through human history and how it has impacted human history at different times. I read/heard this book on Audible and hence was able to endure through some of the sections of the book where the author goes in bit of a rant mode. I believe altogether too much time is spent on the post 1850 era and the book is far to [...]
I really did like the book although it took me awhile to get through it. It takes the reader from the times of bartering for goods and services all the way up to our electronic system that we have today. It talks a lot about the deflation of paper money due to the lack of metal assets (gold, silver, etc) and how that happened in the first place. There is a ton of info in the book it's at times overwhelming, but I did learn a great deal.
recommended to read for those who wants to know if it really is their money bag in the bank deposite box that keeps on shrinking, or the size of the world that keeps growing. or like Jack Sparrow in Pirates 3 says, the world has always been the same, its just has less and less in it.
Largely obvious; did not learn anything from it.Also outdated.
Money, get awayGet a good job with more pay and you're O.K.Money, it's a gasGrab that cash with both hands and make a stashPink Floyd The History of Money is the history of the world and in this examination, we come to know a little better of where we came from and who we are. Beginning with the use of commodity money, such as cowry shells in Africa, salt in China, and animals in general, each was used as a storehouse of value. From the use of cattle we have the word “ pecuniary" (Latin: “we [...]
When I went to my sister’s graduation this was the book I brung. I about read the whole thing there. It was a long four hours.The book is separated into three main sections: Classic Cash, Paper Money, and Electronic Money.Classic Cash focuses on actual commodities as money. Bronze that can be made into tools; coffee that could be drunk. That sort of thing. It chronicles the history of such money from the Aztecs to Croesus to the Knights Templar to the Medici family.Paper money focuses on gold [...]
I saw this book while browsing at the library and thought it might be interesting. It is. I already knew a bit about the subject, although I didn't know that The Wizard of Oz was a satire about the debate on what money should be based upon. Apparently, Baum supported basing the dollar on both gold and silver. His character Dorothy represented a Populist orator, Leslie Kelsey (AKA the Kansas Tornado). Oz itself comes from the abbreviation for ounce, which measures the precious metals. The Scarecr [...]
In my attempt to understand cryptocurrency better I took a step back and tried to understand how currency developed. I wanted to know how currency has been used throughout time and how the government has used (and abused) fiat currency. This book did all of that and allowed me to understand the impact a decentralized currency may have on the world. If anything, it made me more surprised that the current people in charge haven't tried to stomp out cryptocurrency immediately. The government's cont [...]
Very informative review of the development, devaluation and replacement of various forms of currency through time. Weatherford concisely follows the establishment of American currency from colonial times through the use of credit cards and Electronic money. He then formulates the process of formulating the electronic money and other forms of money for the future.I was particularly interested in his evaluation of the role of governments in the volume and value of it's currency. He looks had the r [...]
I really enjoyed the parts of the book where it actually describes the history of money. It is rich with lots of interesting information & perspectives. Also, the author has a great storytelling style!The narrative does get draggged down a bit in the last ~10% of the book though, once it starts predicting the future and talking about the morality of monetary policies
Excellently written! Enjoyed learning a obscure world history and interesting explanations to the rise of globalization and our modern market. I really wish the author could produce an encore, since this was written before the 2008 recession.
Much too trivial for me. I expected more economics topics and less trivia, but then it does say "history" in the title (which is why I give it 3 stars).
4 & 3/4 really & either or: read this. 1st off, any writer who makes learning fun is a genius. jack weatherford is 1 of these. this book & his most recent ("genghis khan & the making of the modern world") read like novels. very accessible & utterly fascinating. scholarly, but far from stuffy, obtuse, pompous, or confusing. i would've never imagined staying up all night cracked out by my desire to keep reading a book about money, but i did. this book reads like an epic narrat [...]
A fantastic history that proved to be invaluable in my studies, both for research and for repeating. Weatherford is a very learned and very fun writer who is interested in everything from Mayan chocolate money to current electronic mall play money. He is definitely a humanities guy, and includes all sorts of little gems like this: "The market without borders never opens or closes; it merely pulses. It does not distinguish winter from summer, and it knows neither night nor day. It never takes a v [...]
I started reading this book last summer, then misplaced it for quite a while. It took me a while to get back into it. It is the kind of book to read in one or two sittings, not ten minutes before I fall asleep. It is not a difficult read, but it kind of whips through history, so I needed to pay attention in a mindful way. What is the point of reading a book like this if I am not going to learn anything that sticks?The book started off pretty strong in tackling such a wide spread topic. Keeping t [...]
The History of Money is a book that blossoms with unique and colorful facts that flourish into a single lush, story of a worldwide garden. It is not simply the past of currency, but a unique lens through which to view the history of humanity. Jack Weatherford’s detail devoted voice leaves him a professor of the page, providing information in a form as enticing as the most vivid lecture. His words are ripe with comparisons and anecdotes that make the knowledge not only easy to digest but memor [...]
In three words: Rock, Paper, Scissors. In a way this familiar game traces the arc of embodied and increasingly disembodied money, from minerals and alloys, paper currency and fiat moneys, to the Linden dollars of Second Life, cutoff entirely from the real economy. More tritely, need anyone say more of the ongoing credit crisis of 2007-08? Any system of debased money collapses. The search is on for the stable numéraire in the macro.The author does not explicitly complete the picture in terms of [...]
This is an engaging analysis of the development and evolution of "money" from man's earliest days to the dawn of the 21st Century. Money developed differently in different cultures: sea shells, gems, even products themselves constituted the earliest mediums of exchange. Gradually, coins were minted and used. Paper money later evolved, but was usually backed by something of value (normally gold or silver). In the United States, FDR was the first president to begin to move us away from the gold st [...]
Filthy lucre. Money both fascinates and disgusts me. The things I learned from The History of Money intensified both feelings. Throughout the history of mankind, money has been closely intertwined with nearly all forms of evil. On the other hand, it has been the means of bringing about much good in the world.I didn't like how Weatherford tried to sensationalize a discussion of money with detailed tales of Aztec human sacrifice and knights being burned to death; I find the concepts interesting en [...]