Money : The True Story of a Made-Up Thing

4.22 (1,813 ratings by Goodreads)
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Humans invented money from nothing, so why can't we live without it? And why does no one understand what it really is? In this lively tour through the centuries, Jacob Goldstein charts the story of this paradoxical commodity, exploring where money came from, why it matters and whether bitcoin will still exist in twenty years.

Full of interesting stories and quirky facts - from the islanders who used huge stones as a means of exchange to the merits of universal basic income - this is an indispensable handbook for anyone curious about how money came to make the world go round.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 160 x 210 x 30mm | 495g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1786495708
  • 9781786495709
  • 48,579

Table of contents

0: Inventing Money 1: The Origin of Money 2: When We Invented Paper Money, Had an Economic Revolution, Then Tried to Forget the Whole Thing Ever Happened 3: How Goldsmiths Accidentally Re-Invented Banks (and Brought Panic to Britain) 4: How to Get Rich with Probability 5: Finance as Time Travel: Inventing the Stock Market 6: John Law Gets to Print Money 7: The Invention of Millionaires 8: Everybody Can Have More Money 9: But Really: Can Everybody Have More Money? 10: The Gold Standard: A Love Story 11: Just Don't Call It a Central Bank 12: Money Is Dead. Long Live Money 13: How Two Guys in a Room Invented a New Kind of Money 14: A Brief History of the Euro (and Why the Dollar Works Better) 15: The Radical Dream of Digital Cash 16: CONCLUSION: The Future of Money
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Review quote

Fast-paced and chatty... a history of currency full of astonishing tales you might tell a friend in the pub... Great preparation for turbulent times: a vibrant and accessible grounding in how the evolution of cash - organic, random and social - really works. * The New York Times * Entertaining... [Goldstein's] strength is historical sweep, from the clay balls recording debts in Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago to decentralised encrypted electronic currencies including bitcoin. * Financial Times * A roller coaster ride through the history of one of humanity's strangest and most consequential inventions. This is a gripping, mind-bending story, and you couldn't ask for a better storyteller than Jacob Goldstein. * Tim Harford, author of How To Make The World Add Up * A lucid, entertaining explainer of all things economic. * Ira Glass, host and producer of This American Life * Funny and accessible, beautiful and conversational. Goldstein's Money hits the bullseye in every respect. It made me look at my wallet and its musty contents with fresh eyes. A must-read. * Gary Shteyngart, bestselling author of Little Failure * A wonderfully entertaining, freewheeling history -- told with verve, wit and full of smart insights. Goldstein has a remarkable gift for making complicated economic issues beguilingly simple. * Liaquat Ahamed, bestselling author of Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World * Jacob Goldstein makes the complexities of economics and monetary policy not just comprehensible, but also genuinely fascinating. Charting the history of money becomes a lens through which to understand human history, and how we arrived at now. -- John Green, bestselling author of Looking for Alaska
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About Jacob Goldstein

Jacob Goldstein is the host of the hit international podcast Planet Money - with millions of listeners worldwide. He has written about money for the New York Times Magazine and his stories air regularly on This American Life, All Things Considered and Morning Edition. He previously worked as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal and the Miami Herald.
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Rating details

1,813 ratings
4.22 out of 5 stars
5 41% (736)
4 43% (782)
3 15% (265)
2 1% (26)
1 0% (4)
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