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I made the mistake of buying this book because I liked Weatherford's Genghis Khan so much. Mr. Weatherford is an excellent historian/historic storyteller, and that is where this book succeeds: the telling of the history of money. So the book delivers? Not entirely.
The book is written in 1998, the dawn of the internet hype. And that is where the problems are. When the writer explains where money is now and where it is going to, it stays too much in the hyperbole of the day. 24 hours non stop everywhere, blink of an eye billions of dollars across the globe hype of the end of the 90's. Although here and there he strikes a hit (currencies less and less in the grip of national governments), for the current reader there is just too much that has happened in the last 15 years for this part to be interesting.
My recommendation would be to read the book if you are interested in a historic story about the development and meaning of money for society (big, always). And just avoid the stuff about the most 'recent' developments, which is about the last 2 hours.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Yes, as a reviewer notes, this work is not exhaustive. There are gaps, in the history and in geographic areas. I might have titled it "a" history of money, rather than "the" history. And some points of view might not be exhaustively represented, particularly some modern political slants. But this book is a treat, end to end. I would think a person lopsided and unimaginative for fixating on these supposed imperfections and missing the bright, illuminating treasures scattered all over this work, both in character-and-detail-rich stories, and in imaginative presentation of concepts. The author is a born storyteller and explainer. I feel myself enlightened and empowered by having heard this.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
This is an excellent listen as it describes all versions of money over the history of humanity. It describes many good events in history that have resulted in the effects of money. For example, when money was in silver and gold coins the spanish found huge reserves in south america, then it became the richest country because money was valued in the coins. It goes from barter to the current system and what made a great impression upon me is just how short a time it has been since money was held in computer records and the credit crunch occurred very quickly (in historical timeline). Well worth the money and worth listening to a few times, good stories to tell your friends at dinner parties.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The book could do with Ann appendix for what happened in the last 20 years.