Debt: The First 5,000 Years, Updated And Expanded
  • Debt: The First 5,000 Years, Updated And Expanded
  • Debt: The First 5,000 Years, Updated And Expanded
  • Debt: The First 5,000 Years, Updated And Expanded
ISBN: 1612194192
EAN13: 9781612194196
Language: English
Release Date: Oct 28, 2014
Pages: 560
Dimensions: 1.8" H x 8.3" L x 5.6" W
Weight: 1.15 lbs.
Format: Paperback
Select Format Format: Paperback Select Conditions Condition: Good


Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

This Description may be from another edition of this product.

David Graeber's fresh.fascinating.thought-provoking.and exceedingly timely (Financial Times) history of debt

Anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom: before there was money, there was debt. For more than five thousand years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods--that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.

Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion--words like guilt, sin, and redemption--derive in large part from ancient debates about debt and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it.

Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a fascinating chronicle of this little known history--as well as how it has defined human history and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy.

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Book Reviews (14)

  |   14  reviews
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   We need creative ambitious thinkers in addition to the fine grained sober analysts
I've read some of the great histories of the 20th century. I especially appreciate the depiction of 'human economies,' the conceptualization of everyday communism and the interplay of communism, hierarchy and exchange, he said. I wish more anthropologists took on this ambitious project. He also needs more ambitious thinkers, analysts say.
   A must read for troubled financial times
His thorough examination of the history of debt and its role in civilization has forced me to re-examine everything I thought I knew about human history. I won't claim this book is a quick read, but the prose is engaging and conversational even when discussing difficult and heady concepts. It's the ideas that forced me to take my time, and to allow this book to change my view of things, Raymond said. I think PeopleSoft could do with a little more help. It's a good question, I suppose, but I don't know whether it's worth asking. Yes, I think PeopleSoft customers deserve better service.
   The author did a great job of pulling a lot of research together to ...
A great book, said Dr. Goin. I sat down to just take a casual look at it and read 125 pages before I could stop. Lots of really interesting stories about research that has been done, too, he said. The author did a great job of pulling together all the relevant research, McBride said. Highly recommend it to those who are interested in such things.
   A genuine achievement of scholarship and clarity
Only in the past few years have we seen such instances of cloned embryos. In "The Age of Money," Paul Goldberg traces the history of money through the ages, and the philosophy it comes from and generates. It's like a look beneath the hood of civilization, showing how seemingly simple tendencies can be so complicated. He achieves this task with a clear, direct style which helps make rather intricate concepts very approachable to a financial layman such as myself. Even when I don't fully agree with some of the author's conclusions, I am thinking about familiar topics in ways that are completely new to me. It's just that short, read it.
   Mind Blowing
Bad loan defaults keep banks honest, the analyst said. There has never been a society in which people used barter as their primary means of exchange. The story is a lie, made up by Smith, and has no supporting evidence. Without currency, what people use is debt. He added that currency isn't an advanced form of barter, but rather a monetized system of debt for accounting purposes. It is truly amazing how widely and deeply ingrained the myth of barter is.
   every time they make a loan to someone like you, and how they gamble with our debt
Yes, I do. In "The Age of Money," Saul Gordon tackles the history of money, debt, the origins of civilization and the elite, war machine. In his speech, Dr. Goin will explain how modern banks "print" their own money, every time they make a loan to someone like you, and how they gamble with our debt. He tells us in very simple terms how we all were duped and swindled, including Merrill's. Pauley, one of the 20th century's great economists, died Sunday at age 82. Stephen Breyer, executive vice president of AOL Europe, said: "This is a great book.
   Flawed but fascinating
I enjoyed the book, right up until the chart on page 366 where the author plots the federal debt and the defense budget on the same graph. A stock is debt that is added to the market each year. The Pentagon budget is a flow, each year's appropriations act outlines how the military will be spent. Even if you could, an economist or analyst, would know that you can't directly compare stocks and flows. But he said he would not consider the deficit to be in the defense budget. The author's view of debt from a historical and anthropological perspective is fascinating and quite different to how debt is usually discussed. However, I can't evaluate the author's evidence or arguments very well. However, the glaring error raises disturbing questions about how other mistakes or misrepresentations might be present.
   Not only deconstructing what I had thought, but reconstructing a large view of history and the world
deconstructing what I had thought, but reconstructing a large view of history and the world. Please note that this is a re-reading of the entire book.
   A wonderful lesson in history!
Although I am not through reading the entire book, I am already planning to reread it.
   a must read
The new kid on the block, Dare I say it, is better than the Cash Nexus! Credit cards are often the only form of debt used by consumers. Wow! That was pretty impressive, right?