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.
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 *
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